Sorry it’s been so long since my last post! I don’t even really have a good excuse other than studying for boards, which I guess really IS a good excuse. Anyway! My last rotation, outpatient (or “clinic”) pediatrics, marked my transition from a third year to a fourth year med student. I didn’t think it would be a huge difference, but it really is. Everything from the way the doctor addressed me, to trusting me with more responsibility, to letting me decide full treatment plans was different! I finally felt like a mini doctor and not just a step above pre-med shadowing like some of third year was!
While on this rotation I saw a TON of interesting and really rare diseases and congenital (born-with-it) defects. Some were even once-in-a-career type of defects- as in, most doctors won’t ever see that particular condition (ahem, a three chambered heart!). It was such a treat! I got to do a circumcision too, which may sound heinous but I LOVE small procedures (and the baby gets lidocaine so it isn’t that bad). The doc I was with was choc-full of life advice, from how to pay off med school loans, to doctoring tips, to my own marriage and sex life… Needless to say, some of it was more welcome than others 😉. He wrote me a really great letter of recommendation and told me to keep in touch when I become a real doctor, and I think he really meant it (He’s the kind of guy you can have a beer with and be super sarcastic/curse… All while maintaining professional boundaries and learning a ton from him!)
I did have to work with 2 other students during my last 2 weeks, which I was upset about at first. Every med student I know prefers one-on-one time with their Attending- you learn more that way and you get to see every patient. So dividing his small 3-room office between 3 of us was not exactly something I looked forward to. But I’m happy to say I was pleasantly surprised! One student is also considering pediatrics so the doctor gave him and me personal pointers for a career in peds (instead of generalizing things like he does for everyone’s required third year peds rotation). And the other student happened to be one of my best med school friends. I thought it would be awkward with her there- I mean, who wants to act professional and “doctorish” in front of someone you gossip/vacation/have girls night with?! It ended up being really great. The three of us got into a groove and we all got to participate equally without missing out on anything extra interesting. I really enjoyed working with both of them, and it was fun to see one of my besties every day, especially because we don’t live really close! All in all, he was a fantastic doctor to work with and I feel really blessed to have been given the experience to be treated like a real “mini” doctor with some small degree of autonomy and power. I really respected his opinions and outlook on medicine and how to be an effective and successful Pediatrician.
Which leads me to my next point… I haven’t been 100% honest with myself or my blog really- I’m still considering anesthesiology (reread Decembers post to see what I mean!). Tomorrow I start an “audition rotation/sub-internship” in the anesthesiology department in Tulsa, Oklahoma, aka my first love and home town. I’m really excited to see my family and spend quality time with them without a huge time crunch (like at Christmas and other holidays). I’m also really looking forward to seeing more of my nieces and nephews- which has been one of the most difficult parts of not living in Oklahoma for the last few years. But, to be honest, the #1 thing I’m excited about, the that keeps me awake at night in anticipation with butterflies deep in my stomach is the opportunity to be in the operating room again, practicing anesthesia. I’m really really really excited about it. And really nervous. I’m definitely nervous about working with a new Attending- that comes with every new rotation. And I’m nervous to start at a new facility where the Attendings don’t have a personal relationship with my Dean and my school. But the thing I’m most nervous about is finally deciding what to do when I grow up- pediatrics (which I absolutely loved last month and got several comments about how natural I am with children)… Or anesthesiology? I don’t have to decide yet… But the time is coming where I’ll need to soon. And that terrifies/excites me! So bring it on T-town! Let’s see what kind of doctor I should be! 😁