Forget the first one hundred days and let me tell you about the first seven days. July 1 came and went and I’m still standing. It’s an incredible privilege to introduce yourself as a doctor, especially when you know that your doctoring abilities haven’t changed an iota between the last day of medical school and the first day of residency.
The first seven days of residency. Seven first impressions.
1. Teamwork: It works. Everything is a challenge, from finding the bathroom to faxing records, but everyone is here to help. People have been incredibly nice and patient and understanding and smiling. Such a supportive learning environment makes it ok to ask questions, reduces stress, and prevents mistakes. Yesterday I baked scones for my team. Because support is a two-way street.
2. Pager: I’ve set my pager to vibrate, because I jump every time a pager goes beep beep beep. Pro: my heart rate only climbs 20 points when I get a page. Con: my phone is also on vibrate, so I’ve experienced frequent let-downs thinking I was getting a text from my darling or from wifey-love when it was a page about poop.
3. Poop: We care about poop a lot in Pediatrics. Especially when you get report that a patient has pooped a Cookie Monster sticker. A reminder that young children put anything in their mouth.
4. Stairwells: I’m pretty sure it’s been entertaining to many to watch me run around the floors looking for a patient room. Getting a sense of the hospital is not as trivial as one might think. I have figured out where the bathrooms are. I have yet to the elevator to elf kingdom.
5. Coffee: The hospital coffee shop is closed on weekends. So not ok.
6. Playtime: At night when things slow down, I get to play with kids, chat with teens, and cuddle with wee peanuts. Best job ever.
7. Sleep: The general advice is sleep when you can. I have several friends who were interns while I was still a medical student. They talked about sleep, dreamed of sleep, slept any minute they could. Well, I get it now. I’m on a q5 call schedule, meaning I alternate between regular days, long call days, and night shifts. Not very conducive to a regular sleeping schedule. I was worried about that but guess what? I’m so tired after a shift that I fall asleep anyway. Even after after coffee. Even on a Saturday afternoon when I’m off and it’s sunny outside. Sleep – my precious.
I’m not sure I’ll be able to continue blogging on a regular basis. So should this be the last post for a while, here what I know now, looking back at 8 months of blogging and the road to residency:
There is nowhere else I would rather be. And that is a very, very good feeling.