And…I have made it. Right now I am sitting in downtown Royal Oak [http://www.downtownroyaloak.org/], drinking coffee and reveling in the fact that…I have nothing to do. Sure, I need to blog [check], read a book [Hunger Games, anyone],
and then pick up the puppers from her surgery [Bob Barker would be proud…she will be spayed as of today!]. And having nothing to do feels pretty good!
To summarize the past couple weeks–work. I finished up my Emergency Medicine rotation, and I honestly really enjoyed it. There are a lot of similarities between Anesthesia and EM, including 1) short, intense relationships, 2) procedures, and 3) hilarious people. I got to do some sweet suturing, respond to some trauma calls, and deal with the gamut of issues that come into a tertiary care emergency room. It was a great month for sure.
I then started [and finished] my LAST clinical rotation of medical school. That’s right, folks, I am done with patient care as an M4. I am definitely the type of person who likes doing all the hard stuff early on, so then I can relax a bit more towards the end. I just completed my Hospitalist subinternship, which was an awesome experience. It gave me a whole new appreciation for interns–getting paged about lab results, imaging, nursing requests–there were times I felt like I had 10 things juggling around in my head, and I needed to keep them all straight! It was also affirming in that I feel like I will be able to handle intern year in a short…8 months. I know it will be a challenge, but this place has certainly prepared me well.
So what do the next 8 months look like for me? Well, a whole lot of reading, cooking, working out, and interviewing! I have my schedule all set–I am thankful to have heard from all the programs I applied to, and I have set up 11 anesthesia interviews with a few transition year programs mixed in. Given Sarah’s exam schedule for law school, I deferred a solid number to January so that she can travel with me. We will be heading to New York City, Boston, Baltimore, and Nashville in January–will be a crazy month of traveling! I am excited to see how other places function– I didn’t rotate outside of the UM system during my M3 and M4 years, so I think it will be important to see how other places function [though I really love how we do things here]. I start off my interview trail in about 1 week, when I will head to Beaumont for my very first anesthesia interview. Will post details after that.
Congratulations to all the M0s who were recently admitted–I certainly hope you consider making UMMS your home for the next 4 [or more] years. As always, any questions to email@example.com. I certainly have plenty of time to respond!
My successfully-placed IV in Emergency Medicine orientation. Thanks for loaning your veins, Jordie!
Fall has finally arrived in Ann Arbor, and I’m loving it! It really got started this past Saturday when the Michigan Wolverines rolled over the visiting Western Broncos–one of the craziest games I have been to! It started out really hot, then crazy storms came in and eventually cancelled the game. All in all though, a great start to the football season! I also just started my Emergency Medicine rotation last week, and I’ve been loving it. A lot of people get down to deciding between EM and Anesthesia, so it makes sense that I like the fast pace, intense interactions, and decision-making. It’s going to be a great month, and then one more subI (which is gonna be busy!) stands between me and interview season.
Speaking of interviews, I officially applied to Anesthesia last week! It’s hard to believe that I have made it to this point–the time really has flown. I applied pretty broadly, and hope the interviews start rolling in over the next month or so. It was fun to be able to reflect back on how I have changed and grown since I started back in August 2008…it’s been a wild ride. Off to another EM shift–as always, any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Introducing…Stella! We finally got our puppy about a month ago, and life has been crazy ever since! Her full name is Stella Trix (Harry Potter, anyone?) and she is definitely a crazy puppy! She is a lot of fun though, and loves people and animals alike. It’s crazy to watch how she grows seemingly every day–she’s going to be huge someday!
In other news, I just finished up my month of Clinical Anesthesiology, and it confirmed my career choice. I love it. Seeing patients in the morning, thinking about how best to anesthetize them and take care of their pain, and then waking them up afterwards is really great. And for all those people who think Anesthesiologists just sit behind the curtain and play Sudoku–really not true. I was shocked at how often I was flying around, giving medications, recording vitals, and monitoring the entire physiology of the patient. It’s a lot of work, but I think it’s going to be a really rewarding and exciting career. Now I’m on day #1 of my vacation month (WOO!), but have to take Step 2 in about 3 weeks…dang. But my fellow classmates say it’s a lot more fun than studying for Step 1, and then I get a real vacation for about a week, though I will have to be tidying up my application and personal statement for submission on September 1. It’s hard to believe that I’m actually applying for residency. I met with a few M0s from Hope College (though they will be M1s tomorrow…congrats guys!), and it brought me back to that hot August day in 2008 when I moved to Ann Arbor and started this whole journey. Perhaps it’s a bit too early to start getting nostalgic, but med school has been fun, challenging, exciting and trying all at the same time–but I could not imagine a better place or better people to have experienced this with!
As fall approaches, the process of interviewing starts again, something I am excited to participate in this year! M3 year doesn’t really have time for students to interview prospective candidates, but M4 year is chock-full of it–can’t wait to see the next batch start coming through! Any questions–email@example.com
The recent post from one of the M1s (now M2s!) inspired me to write about how all of that pre-clinical knowledge becomes useful. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks on the Infectious Disease (ID) consult service at the U, which has been amazingly fun. I have to admit, I was stoked for this month–ID was definitely one of my favorite sequences during the first 2 years, so I couldn’t wait to do it again. Almost every service I have been on thus far has needed an ID consult at one time or another–the bugs and drugs can be overwhelmingly complicated, so I wanted to see what it’s like to be on the team, and I have not been disappointed.
I have always been a fan of consult services–you come in, make recommendations, and then follow up. Rounds are fast and full of teaching moments, and you can really help contribute to a patient’s care. It has been amazing to me how much my ID course years ago (makes me feel old) has come into play–the difference between gram positive and gram negative species, anaerobes, and the oh-so-popular fungus. AND I have to remember how to treat them! I felt like I walked off the deep end the first day, but since then I’ve settled in and have seen a ton of interesting things, including serious Staph infections, fungus balls in a lung, and abdominal abscesses!
In other news, finishing up the Cardiovascular ICU was a great experience. It made me more excited than ever to go into Anesthesia–I love the attendings and residents, and Critical Care is pretty cool. It’s hard–knowing how to manage someone with multiple life-threatening illnesses takes a lot of knowledge and skill, but I was impressed with how my superiors approached each problem. Could be a potential future career…who knows?
After that busy month, it’s just settling in to being a 4th year. And it is truly as glorious as I had been told! I was able to take my Step 2 CS (basically an 8 hour test in Chicago that evaluates my ability to diagnose common problems and communicate with patients) last week, so that’s another thing to check off the list. We are definitely taking advantage of the Ann Arbor summer–it’s a great town all year round, but I think summer is especially awesome. We try to spend a few evenings outside every week, enjoying Kerrytown, the downtown area, and the park by our house to take full advantage.
Best of luck to those newly-minted M0s who are applying right now–any questions, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Mott Children's Hospital is decorated with patient art--this is my favorite in the entire hospital!
So I’m sitting at Sweetwater’s coffee house in A2 [www.sweetwaterscafe.com], where Sarah and I have been spending a ton of our time these past 2 weeks! She has been busy with finals, and I have been studying for my peds shelf. However, as of 2:42pm yesterday, I am…an M4. Whoa. I knew this day would come at some point, but I didn’t expect it to come so quickly! The last 2 months of M3 year absolutely flew by, and now I have one year left until graduation! It didn’t really sink in until today when Lauren Ehrlichman [almost graduate and fellow blogger] ran past me and yelled out, “Congrats on being an M4!” Hard to believe it’s here. And big props to her for matching into Ortho @ Harvard–she is well on her way to an amazing career, and we will miss her energy and smile around the UMMS campus.
The last 2 months have been absolutely crazy-busy and really fun. I started my Pediatrics rotation [which is 2 months long] on the inpatient side–specifically Cardiology and general pediatrics. It was an amazing month, but definitely one of the busiest months I have had. It was really enjoyable though–I had amazing colleagues to work with who really cared about the patients, and also took a lot of time to teach. Contrary to popular belief, kids are not just “little adults,” and the approach to them is QUITE different. I had thought for a long time I would become a pediatric cardiologist, but that had left my differential before I started this Peds rotation. However, I really loved what they did, and I know that the cardiovascular system is definitely one of my favorites [so it’s a good thing it is so important in Anesthesia]! I had some really neat, life-changing experiences that month too. I scrubbed into my first heart transplant, which was absolutely stunning. It is an incredible talent that can be a transplant surgeon, and I am in awe of the program at Michigan. It was a humbling experience to be involved, and I am so grateful I had the opportunity. The human body is an incredibly powerful yet delicate machine. Due to our abnormally high amount of patients [a common phrase when anyone walked into our room was “Wow, I have never seen that many patients on the Cardiology service!”], the month absolutely flew by.
I then spent 2 weeks in primary care at Livonia, 1 week on Newborn, and 1 week in Specialty clinics [i.e. Hematology/Oncology, Pulmonary, etc.]. All of the weeks were great, but I really loved my week on Newborn. Our responsibilities consisted of examining all the new babies born in the hospital in the last 24 hours and educating the parents about what to expect when they go home, nutrition, safety, etc. It. was. awesome. All of the babies were cute and it was a really fun week.
After finishing that last shelf exam, I am now on vacation. It’s odd to transition from going 24/7 to…nothing. For example, today I took 2 naps, took 2 walks, had dinner with old Hope friends, and read a book [for fun]. I am definitely going to enjoy it, however, as I start in the Cardiovascular ICU as a subintern on May 9. This is a month when I will basically function as an intern–writing orders, admitting patients, responding to nursing concerns, etc. It will be one of my most challenging months of the year, but I am really looking forward to it. This particular ICU is run mainly by anesthesiologists, so it will be good to work with my future colleagues! Couples with the M4 CCA [Comprehensive Clinical Assessment, basically a test of our clinical physical examination skills] and a wedding, May will be a busy month!
Congrats to the almost-doctors graduating on May 13–we will miss having them around, and we have some big shoes to fill! Rawrz!