Thursday, September 23, 2010


My first month of Internal Medicine has come to an end.  I have a couple more rotations on the floors, but they come later in the year.  I wanted to kindof reflect on it all.

The first week of it my rotation, I hated my life.  The first day a couple tears fells down my cheeks while I was at work (nobody was around...thank goodness!)  It was so overwhelming...I didn't know how to cope with having to work alllllllll day, go home to sleep, and then go back to work a few hours later to do it all over again.  It was physically exhausting and mentally exhausting.  I had to work every weekend...and in so doing, I missed going to a friend's wedding (a wedding that Tommy was actually in!), and I missed my best friend's baby's 1st birthday party in Massachusetts, and I missed a Rhode Island vacation weekend that Tommy went on solo. 

More than being bummed about missing out on all the fun of the weekends and evenings, I was terrified of this rotation.  I didn't think I could possibly memorize the complete medical histories, lab results, medication lists, and plans for every single patient I was covering.  I was seriously nervous.  I contemplated quitting... like... seriously. It just wasn't what I signed up for.  I just kept thinking "this is what I worked my ass off for?  this is how I'm going to spend my life?  I can't survive this."

Except, there were a couple rad things -  I was on a team...the best team ever.  With the greatest co-residents...and some wonderful Attendings...who challenged me and encouraged me (it was a team of boys...and they were terribly sweet about my ever expanding belly and jaunts to puke in the bathroom...they were wonderful!).  After my first week, I started to actually *gulp* enjoy it?  Yes.  I found myself liking it.  I loved getting new patients, forming those bonds, being their advocate...doing whatever I could to figure out how to help them - to actually do it - and to discharge them back home once they were better.

On my last day, last Saturday, I even stayed a few hours late...I wanted to make sure everything would be flawless for the transition of new care the next day when the new resident's would take over.  Believe me, I thought it was WEIRD that I didn't run out of the hospital at the first opportunity screaming FREEDOM at the top of my lungs!!  No...I stayed...because I wanted to. 

Funny how that my fear almost got the best of me.  AND how I overcame it...only to totally rock it and have a blast.  Oh life.

Do you ever think you're going to suck, and then surprise yourself because you are, in fact, rather amazing?  


  1. What a great post.

    My business partner's brother-in-law just had two heart valve replacements done. He had a so-so doctor who didn't interpret the warning signs and it's a miracle he isn't dead - the opening on one valve was as small as a pencil lead. Luckily, everything came together in time and he got a top-notch surgeon. His wife is reeling knowing that she almost lost her husband and didn't even know it.

    Doctors not only save lives; they save families. ;)

  2. So awesome to know u were called to be a doctor....definitely a calling.

  3. I think you might be my hero, Jes. seriously.

  4. I agree 100% with Sera, you do such amazing work. Thank goodness you didn't give up, you have so much good to do as a doctor, i'm sure of it. x

  5. as a fellow resident, i can definitely say i know the feeling. taking care of people is hard work, and it can be overwhelming at times. but its amazing to make connections and really feel like you are helping people. that's why most of us went into medicine in the first place, but its hard to hold onto that feeling when you are getting paged by nurses 10 times an hour and you work more than you think is humanly possible. hold onto the good feelings, they will get you through the rough days.

    and congrats on surviving a wards month. i know they can be brutal, especially pregnant.

  6. You are amazing - surviving those crazy long hours during your 1st trimester.

    Hard times often produce incredible results. In fact, most things that are worth doing are hard and involve sacrifice, don't you think?



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