Hello again! I will begin with an apology, as it has been far too long since my last blog post. Somehow, the eight weeks of internal medicine that I had remaining when I last wrote passed by more like two or three, and it’s hard to believe that I now find myself in my second week of pediatrics, with another clerkship under my belt. More amazingly, with the completion of our shelf exams last Friday afternoon, my class hit the halfway point of our third year of medical school (!!), a somewhat terrifying yet very exciting thought.
Things have been very good—though very busy—here since my last post. I completed my month of outpatient medicine, which I feel gave me the broadest exposure to different medical conditions that I’ve experienced so far this year. I really enjoyed the significant amount of one-on-one time with different faculty members—a luxury that the busy inpatient world does not really allow—and I felt that this was a great month to practice my oral presentation and clinical management skills.
I next moved on to a general medicine month at the VA. I had heard that this rotation is a “love it or hate it,” type of month, and I assumed that I would fall on the “love it” side of the dichotomy. I must admit, though, that I think I fell somewhere more in the middle. I really enjoyed the autonomy of the month (med students are allowed to write notes at the VA), and I felt that I had ample time to get to know my patients, which is one of the more rewarding aspects of being a medical student and having fewer patients to focus on than the residents and attendings. However, I struggled with the severity of the illnesses of most of the patients on the service, many of whom presented with end-stage disease and very poor overall health, often from preventable causes and a lack of resources. This is certainly an inevitable aspect of medicine, and in fact one that drew me to the field; I just found it difficult to have nearly every one of my patients so ill, and I struggled with some of the patients’ stories when I left work many of the days.
Following the completion of my internal medicine shelf, I flew out to Philadelphia for the weekend to visit my sister, a recent Michigan med school grad and now pediatrics intern there, as well as some college friends. It was really nice to get out of Ann Arbor for a couple of days, to enjoy the beautiful city and weather, and—best of all—to not have to study for anything! I flew back Sunday night feeling recharged and ready to move onto pediatrics the following day.
I’m now ten days into this rotation and am really enjoying it so far. I started on my outpatient month, so I’ve gotten to rotate through the Newborn service (adorable babies, very few medical issues, and happy people all around), as well as a few days of subspecialty clinics. I end the rotation on the hematology and oncology service, which is something that I’m both really excited for, as well as a little nervous about, as I know it will be difficult to deal with severely sick children, especially around the holidays.
It’s hard to believe that it’s already November, though the gradual yet definite drop in temperature lately suggests that winter is not too far away. I promise another post before the holiday break, but because late November will be here before we know it, I hope everyone stays warm and has a great Thanksgiving!