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I’m still more or less in a state of denial, but I’m at least peripherally aware that I’m done with my M3 clerkships. Like, completely done. Took the last exam, submitted all my evaluations, done. I even completed a clinical exam this week that has M4 in the title, as in M4s take this test. We’re having sessions about residency applications and there are constant references to doing things at an intern level. I legitimately have no idea how this happened. I don’t think the world around me can handle it, either: it was 65 degrees yesterday and today it’s snowing. Seems appropriate.

No, seriously. Not exaggerating.

Partly due to having to schedule the aforementioned M4 clinical exam for all of my classmates, we have a two-week period with lots of “free time.” In typical fashion, this “free time” is being used to get my life together and take care of all the things that have been blatantly ignored in light of clinical responsibilities. Among these things is submitting paperwork for my leave of absence because I finally managed to snag myself a research mentor, woohoo! I’ll be stepping out in May, taking the month to prepare for and take Step 2 (hooray for standardized tests; they never end), and then starting on my research in June. I’ll be working with a pediatric neuro-oncologist rather than a neurosurgeon as was my original plan, but I’m totally psyched.

I actually really enjoyed my pediatrics rotation. I, too, was shocked!

My work is going to be a delightful combination of basic and clinical, and I’m already scheming ways to creep around the department of neurosurgery on a regular basis (and by creep I obviously mean partake in meaningful experiences and not be at all awkward, ever.)

I’m also getting caught up on/trying to get back into a lot of work related to my involvement in curricular matters at the medical school. It’s been extremely difficult to stay involved with these sorts of activities when meetings are almost always in the middle of the day (and it’s not kosher to be peacing out all the time from clerkships.) I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to do much more this coming year, though I’m sad I missed out on such a critical time period for coordinating the curricular transitions that are still ongoing. Still plenty more to come with the first batch of students experiencing the abbreviated pre-clinical trunk and then jumping into clinical work roughly halfway through my research year. I’m excited to see how things go!

Speaking of being excited, I am so. stinkin’. excited. about starting electives in March. I’m going to experience the two fields I’m most interested in before I start my research year: neurosurgery and pathology (and yes I realize how ridiculous that combination is). Neurosurgery is up first and I’m trying to get myself ready for surgery hours again. I’m off to a great start: on Friday I slept through my alarm and got up at 1:30 PM (oops), and today I got up at 10:30 AM. Improvement! (I’m in deep trouble.)

I’ve also got plans with a friend to practice suturing, because I may or may not be kind of sort of (exceedingly) clumsy. Good times will be had by all.