Saturday, December 28, 2013

Catching up: IM is hard

I am now ending my Christmas break and have finally decompressed enough to blog. (Or, I've finally realized that if I don't specifically carve out time to blog, it won't happen and all I will do is hang out with siblings, clean the kitchen, and do errands.) I am now one sixth of the way through internal medicine: two weeks down, ten to go.

Internal medicine (IM or "I med") is the meat and potatoes of the third year: it represents most of Step 2, and it teaches us basics of adult medicine. Our rotation is made up of one week of palliative care, two month-long rotations with an inpatient team of residents, and two weeks of outpatient care with a practicing physician in the community. Because our Christmas break landed in the middle of one of the month-long rotations, I have one fewer inpatient weeks and one additional outpatient week. (Cue the Alleluia chorus, because inpatient is much more intense and demanding than outpatient; this coincidence will give me more time to study and less time with resident team 1, which is keeping me hopping although I'm learning a ton.)

In one week on this residency team, I saw patients with stroke, sickle cell crisis, cellulitis, heart attack, heart failure, pericardial effusion, leukemia, sepsis, coma, and disseminated cancer. One patient died (I was not present).

The resident quizzes us a lot during the day, so studying is a must. We write notes on the three patients we see, and we see them before 8:00am, which means I'm getting up at 5:00, and that also means I'm usually missing Mass. I'm struggling to work until 5:00pm or 6:00pm, study, pray, and relax. IM is challenging me!

Formation is stressing living as Christ and being the Eucharist for others, though, so I am definitely getting a chance to do that. And St. Faustina says that one Eucharist lasts until the next, so I'm at peace as far as Mass goes. Praying the litany of humility (and just being a third year med student) is also helping me have realistic expectations of what I can and can't do, and how much I should or shouldn't know at this time in my life.

In other news, all during the OB/GYN rotation I either avoided or bumbled through explaining why I wouldn't prescribe contraceptives. Today, at coffee with my high school friends, one of them asked me about it and I explained *~beautifully~* why I thought what I did. Yay! I can have that conversation! (One down, a million to go.)

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