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29th June 2007

answering those pesky questions you never wanted to ask

posted in Uncategorized |

I did not end up getting a permanent account. I was really having a hard time justifying the expense of it and kept putting it off. I did convince myself yesterday that maybe it wasn’t that much money, but I was on call and that didn’t leave any opportunities to slip away.

I think I probably would have regretted it. I had been counting on the end of the year bonus from work so that I could indulge a bit and discovered that Uncle Sam had taken 40% of it, leaving me with less than what it’s going to cost to take get my medicine license, so I can’t even afford that, which is much more important in the long run. I’m so tired of money issues, so wearied. I was really hoping that with the very small cost of living raise that some of the money pressures that I’ve been drowning in for the last six months would ease, but taxes and insurance are going to suck that all away as well.


On a good note, I’ve completed my last call ever as an intern! Whee! Of course, things really aren’t going to be that much different next year. When I’m in the neurology department, I’ll be a “junior resident” which is really the exact same thing as an intern (still the low man on the totem pole) and when I’m on my medicine rotations, I’ll still have to take call as a senior resident (just not as frequent and I won’t have to write daily notes! Yay!).

And I just realized how confusing my life must be to those of you who actually read this thing. And that I’ve never explained what I’m doing. I have a tendency to assume that people can read my mind, and are really living my life with me (I should have probably outgrown that belief when I was, I don’t know 15 months old. I’m a little behind) So allow for a brief detour.

Briefly, I’m doing two residencies in one. I’m doing Internal Medicine which is basically being your internist… I take care of patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, abdominal pain, every organ in the body that doesn’t need surgical management AND I’m doing Neurology which is like being an internist just for the brain. I don’t do surgeries, those are referred to the crazies who think that getting up at 5 and not getting home until ten and standing on your feet all day peering into tiny little incisions is fun *coughChriscough*. It’s a five year program, and I just completed my first year. Your first year of residency is referred to as your “intern year” – once upon a time (and for some programs this still holds true, like radiology and anesthesiology and actually neurology as well, but I’ll get to that in a bit), this was a separate year of training. You did your intern year, and after that, if you wanted to specialize you went on and did your residency. If not, then you became a general practicioner. Nowdays, you pretty much can’t be hired if you haven’t completed a residency, so it’s almost moot to try to describe them as a separate entity.

Anyway. Internal Medicine is a three year program. Neurology is four years, but the first year is an internal medicine intern year. So basically if I had done both residencies one after another it would have taken me 6 years to do (3 years of medicine, and since that would have had the internal medicine intern year, 3 years of neurology after that). By combining the residencies, I will finish in 5 years; six months of training is cut from each residency, which is okay because of the overlap (electives count for both for example).

So my first year that I just completed was mostly Internal Medicine (referred from here on out as medicine because that’s what it is), with 4 months of neurology mixed up in there. For the next three years, I’ll be splitting my time between the two departments, three months at each and then the last year will be mostly neurology with a few months of medicine.

I’m not exactly sure what I was trying to say before. 🙂 Next time, I think I’ll do a “Day in the Life” kinda post if there was any interest in it.

I crashed, as is my usual, post-call. Chris called while I was asleep, to tell me that he had the afternoon and tomorrow off and wanted to come down for the weekend…and I missed the call and didn’t wake up until after 8, so that thwarted those plans. 🙁 I’m really disappointed as I don’t know when days off will line up again. Plus, I missed my church’s BBQ and seeing other friends. I don’t know how people with kids do it; I come home post call absolutely wiped out; I can’t imagine just taking a tiny nap and then parenting the rest of the day. And I wake up almost nauseated and completely disoriented. Today, once the spinning sensations and nausea passed, I got on the internet to try to download the latest episode of Dr. Who and couldn’t figure out why nobody was talking about it… until it hit me that it is actually Friday.

And on a completely unrelated note, iTunes keeps cycling through the LOST soundtrack and I’m kinda getting nostalgic for season 1.

This entry was posted on Friday, June 29th, 2007 at 11:20 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


  • Money issues suck. 🙁

    Thank you for sharing some background info about your residency. You’re right, it does get a bit confusing for us non-doctors sometimes. I’m looking forward to spending a virtual day with you! 🙂

  • I agree money issues really aren’t the best thing in the world. I remember my Clinical Psychologist professor talking about how, if we went into graduate school, there would be very little to no money paid to us after we graduated because we wouldn’t actually be “licensed” completing a year of work (under the supervision of another psychologist) and passed our exam. I hope the money issues calm down after a while.

    And thank you for giving us a look into your medical world. Most of the time I have a general understanding of the day that you’ve been through but I’m pretty sure that’s all because of the countless of medical dramas I’ve watched. (I’ve heard that they have professional nurses and doctors available for the writers/directors on set to make it seem as realistic as possible)

    Congrats on finishing the first year!!

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