It’s June apparently. The past three months have passed in a flash. It was still March the last time I wrote, and a lot has happened since then, including sub-internships, the last ever board exam that I had to take in medical school, and the arrival of some very spring-like weather. I can also officially say I’m an M4. Congratulations to this year’s graduates who have officially been MDs for a couple weeks now!
The beginning of April brought the beginning of my pediatrics sub-internship. The sub-internship is one of the much-anticipated rotations of 4th year. It’s a chance for us to act as interns, or first-year residents. We’re the first contact for our patients, and we have a significant role in their care. It’s a chance to stretch and enhance our clinical reasoning skills with much more responsibility than we ever experienced as M3s. As frightening as it initially was to get pages about patients (wait, is that my pager?), it eventually became part of the normal day. It was nice to be given a great deal of autonomy but to also know that there were multiple people checking everything I did. The team was also great and really treated me like one of the interns. For the first time, I truly felt as though I could call the patients that I cared for mine. It was overall an amazing experience.
May brought a very different kind of experience. I was able to take a quick trip to Chicago to see Hamilton and spend a weekend in Traverse City to attend a friend’s wedding. Then, I took most of the rest of the month to study for Step 2 CK, the last part of our national licensing exam that I had to take while in medical school. I have to admit that I had a difficult time transitioning back to hours of studying after spending most of the past year on the wards. I found myself longing to be back on the floors among patients. However, boards are a necessary evil, and that is that. Luckily, several of my best med school friends were also studying at the same time, and they were an incredible support system for the rough days. I also enjoyed studying with them because they kept me motivated, and we could help each other out with areas of struggle (this was especially helpful since we’re all interested in different fields and definitely have different strengths). The test itself involves a 9-hour day, so I left exhausted that evening. When we were done, we took a nice trip to the sandy Lake Michigan beaches and just enjoyed life for a bit—a much-needed mental break before our next rotation.
Now, it’s June, and I’m back on the wards (yay!). I’m on my ICU rotation. I’m in my first week, and the learning curve is very steep (learning new terminology and seeing things that we’ve never seen before can be overwhelming). However, I am really enjoying the medicine. The patients are very complex and very sick, which can be difficult to deal with; at the same time, our goal is to give them the best chance at returning to as close to their normal lives as possible. I’m excited to see what the rest of the month brings.
In the meantime, I’m enjoying the nice weather and trying to spend as much time as possible outside. I spent last weekend out in the sun at a track meet (one part of my pre-med school life that I miss a lot). I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to make it to Top of the Park this year (Ann Arbor’s month-long summer festival including music, outdoor movies, and yoga to name a few of my favorite events).
As always, thanks for reading. Until next time, go out and enjoy something that makes you happy (preferably outside because the weather is perfect).
Don’t miss the next Dose of Reality.
Angelica is a fourth-year medical student at the University of Michigan Medical School. When she’s not on the wards, you can find her on a run around Ann Arbor or passionately discussing medicine and public health over tea.