I was told a few years ago, “4th year of medical school is a magical place.” Well finally with 10 weeks of rotations left I might actually agree with this statement.
The first half of fourth year is very stressful and little sleep happens. You work your tail of at all of your audition rotations as so that you discover how well you fit with the program and the residents. These are the people that you are going to be spending the good majority of the next 4+ years of your life with.
Well interviews have come and gone. The “interview trail” is over. I am back at home for good. I have 10 weeks left of being a medical student.
The rotation that I started on Monday is great. I have never done an anesthesia rotation, so this is a new experience, new things to learn, new people to work with, and hours that I definitely cannot complain about. I am at work before the sun comes up, but it is worth it. Spending the majority of my medical school education on the sterile side of the sheet, I am now getting a different perspective of surgery and the surgical patient. Also even though pharmacology still makes me cringe, learning about all the medications used for anesthesia and the process of anesthesia is a very interesting subject and fun. The doctor and CRNAs that I am working with are pretty amazing too. There has been good medical knowledge being gained and good life lessons being observed and learned this month.
It doesn’t matter what field of medicine I am rotating in and learning about each rotation I still ask myself, “will I ever know as much? be as good as? be a good resident? one day, a good attending?”
Knowing that the “Match” happens in 26 days is a bit stressful, but fortunately I am enjoying the rest of my fourth year.
Spending 4 weeks in OB/GYN was amazing. Besides learning, delivering babies, assisting with C-sections, and surgeries, actually getting to be part of bringing another life into the world was one of the most exhilarating things ever. The first time parents lives are being changed forever when that new little life comes into the world!
photo credit: @medstudentlife and @debbieeibbed
I also discovered how near and dear to my heart women’s health actually is.
So after an amazing month I think I really do have a top 3 now.
I am not sure how much the things I love are influenced by the doctors that I am with. These doctors work long hours, love what they do, and seem to enjoy their home lives and be honestly happy. I know I have other rotations where I will be with other physicians that do the same thing and hopefully I will figure out if these 3 different medical professions and lifestyles biased my decision because how amazing the doctors I first encountered these specialties with or if they are really as amazing as I think they are right now!
Whatever happens I need to make up my mind, the time had come I need to be thinking about audition rotations being set up and finishing up my fourth year schedule.
These past 6 months/7 rotations have flown by; fourth year will be here before I know it.
I am constantly changing my mind about what I want to be when I grow up. People look at me like I am crazy when I tell them I am not 100% sure what I want to be when I grow up. They all automatically think “you are going to be a doctor.” What else is there to think about. Well that list could go on and on.
This past month I have spent working in the newborn nursery, children’s hospital, and daily clinic. Yes, I have worked in all of these places every morning. This was a great way to start off my third year of medical school because this is one thing I could see myself doing for the rest of my life. The continuity of care is amazing in pediatrics. I have seen babies when they are a few hours old, 3 day follow-up, 2 weeks, and possibly 1 month visit. I have gotten to see children for well child checks, sickness, and physicals. I love it that the doctor I have been working with has been seeing some of his patients since they were born and now they are leaving for college.
Medicine is only a brief moment of most people’s lives and this is why you must look at the whole person to make sure that you are taking care of them.
Who knows, every rotation that I do I might think “I could do this for the rest of my life”, but right now pediatrics is still on my list.
Just when you are starting to feel like you might be doing something right, it is time to move on to the next rotation. Rotation and COMAT exams are taken and now I only have one more day to get to see kids all day long. I guess we shall see what the next month has in store for me.
Learning today: you were taught medicine and pathology this way, whereas sickness presents this way.
Unfortunately people don’t walk around with signs on them telling you: this is how I should present in your clinic, and these are the signs and symptoms that really matter. At least sometimes they give us clues.
Guess that’s why I am becoming a doctor, so that one day I will be able to connect the dots.
I might have fallen in love with pediatrics today. This might happen on the first day of every rotation, or not. Actually getting to see real patients with real problems was worth the past two years of classroom work. I also actually knew some of the answers to the questions that our attending was asking us. I also like it when a patient presents the way that the book says they will.
I am sure there will be the ups and downs, being completely exhausted, and everything else that comes with being a medical student, but tonight I will live in this little cloud, keep positive thoughts, and prepare myself for 6 a.m. rounds in the morning.
Monday morning is the beginning of something I have been waiting on for a very long time: The time that I no longer have to sit in a classroom and the beginning of 3rd year clinical rotations.
I have my stethoscope, panoptic ophthalmoscope, “Maxwell’s”, “Practical Guide to The Care of the Medical Patient” pocket book, black pens, pin light, different medical apps loaded on my iphone, and “Sanford’s Guide to Antibiotics”. Should I pack a lunch, do I put snacks in my pockets, do I need a toy since I am going to be on peds? Many, many questions. Guess it will be trial by fire.
Something I already new but interesting facts:
21% greater risk of anxiety disorder
39% greater risk of mood disorder
Greater risk of schizophrenia
Have all been found to correlate to being born, raised, and living in the city. More reason to go rural? Our speaker said Tulsa might not fall under this. I strongly disagree with that. We might not be up to par with cities like LA or New York, but I can personally say living in Tulsa is more stressful than living in Ponca City or any rural town.
Well, what is rural? Geography, population density: 1000 per square mile is urban and 6 per square mile is frontier. Distance from urban city, culture, disparities, shortages. All of these things define what rural is.
Rural health disparities: 19.5% report poor health, 27.4% found to be in the obese BMI category, less likely to engage in vigorous physical activity, and higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. These people need healthcare and need it now.
As a rural doctor you get a wider base if a practice, have more community interactions, can have greater impact on your patients health. You actually know your patients too. What better reasons to be a doctor in rural Oklahoma or rural anywhere.
Did I mention that you can get your student loans paid back? There is lots of money out there just waiting to BR spent to pay back your loans. I would much rather have someone else pay my loans back, plus pay me to do what I love and for people that I will know and care about.
Nobody has to convince me, but if you haven’t ever looked into it, rural is quite a bit bigger than you thought it was.
Do a rural rotation!