This week marks the beginning of the second stage of medical school – clinical rotations.
I have been waiting for this day for so long its hard to imagine it’s finally here. I know I have not posted anything in a long time but it’s for your own good. I have only had negative things to say. I actually just read over a couple drafts I had written two and three months ago and they are just sad and depressing – nothing anyone needs to read. I don’t want to be a sap; I want to share the awesome, fun, happy, interesting, and exciting things that happen in medical school. I am sure you can imagine that there are plenty of difficult and challenging times in med school and we don’t need to dwell on them. Lets just say that I have been in a rut over the past few months, burnt out and broken – but I survived and I am ready to be on the “other side”. So ready.
The “other side” is the side of medical school that everyone wants to get to – the third/fourth years. It’s the side where you are permitted to take part in the real medical system, where you get to learn by doing, and where (most importantly) you get to talk to people! It’s the apprenticeship period where you shadow real physicians in real hospitals and where the real learning takes place.To get to this side of things you have to finish your first two years of classes and then take the dreaded step one medical licensing exams, AKA “board exams”. I just took my exams – the USMLE and the COMLEX – and once my scores come back I will officially be a 3rd year medical student!
Obviously the previous two years were important but lets get real, who wants to study all day every day? Not many people. Even I – who loves reading and studying/learning – can’t handle ANY more. I’m fried. I need to be on my feet, walking around, actively using my brain and engaging my mind with other minds – connecting with human beings.
So no discussing my past few “dark” months – lets just say life is good again! I have moved out of the mountains and back to a city (Knoxville) where I am much more comfortable, my wife is happy and officially working as a big bad occupational therapist (which she LOVES), and we bought our first home!! No more paying rent, no more driving 30 miles to the nearest decent grocery store, 1 mile from Starbucks, restaurants galore, no more sadness!
Over the next two years I will be documenting/sharing my experiences in various hospitals/clinics in Knoxville, TN. I have big hopes to learn a TON, have a great time, and become a great physician day by day. I’ll be documenting each core specialty: internal med, surgery, pediatrics, emergency med, and family med, as well as those which I am interested in: Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Gastroenterology, Cardiology, etc. I hope you learn about each specialty and enjoy the stories I gather from each experience. I am excited to meet a lot of amazing people, learn medicine, and learn the healthcare system, but I am most excited about learning about the people who are our patients – their stories, ailments, fears, and joys. I’ll keep you all involved as my journey continues.