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19th November 2008

Surreal

Even weirder than having a girl you barely know ask you for your phone number for her brother?

Having said brother ask you out over his sister’s Facebook.

Apparently, I now have a date for Friday afternoon/evening. I’ll be post call (but it’ll be one of those blissful done-around-7-am calls so I should at least be coherent and not smelly), and Suz and her family are arriving afterward for the weekend. I guess we’ll have something to talk about.

So what would you pick as the perfect first date movie: Batman or Wall-E (which I just saw for the first time last week)?

(And yes, I see the irony in this occuring right after my “woe is me! I’m never going to find anyone” post. Shuddup :P)

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19th November 2008

S.A.R.

(As one of my program directors called it today. I think it makes it sounds like I’m part of this secret society or something.)

I had my semi-annual review today. I don’t know why I get so nervous every time for these. I walked in today with the biggest pit of dread taking up residence in my belly. Of course, all of my fears were drastically way out of proportion. They did not threaten to fire me or tell me that I make their program look terrible. I’m doing fine, they said. My students and interns like me, my attendings rave about working with me, and I perform at the level where I ought to be. And if they truly had problems with me, they would be bringing them up when they occurred, not springing them on me. Probably true, but I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fear entirely–it’s definitely been ingrained from years of needing external validation.

I did share some of my concerns, that I feel that I’m too fragmented switching from medicine to neurology and back every three months and that I’m missing out on lectures that I need to prepare for boards and to take better care of my patients. They both agreed, so I’ve just added a couple hours of lectures to my already full week. I also stated that I feel like I’m being compared to my straight medicine or neurology colleagues of my year, which is unfair because I really am behind since I do six months less than they do every year. I’ve only had 10 months of neurology, when my neuro colleagues have done 14-15 months. My medicine friends will be finishing this year, going on to fellowships and jobs, and I’m not even half way done with my residency. So my in-training exam results are going to be compared to the PGY2s instead, which is definitely better.

I expressed my eternal frustrations with the neurology continuity clinic, of how I’m always behind, always stressed and never feel like I’m learning anything because of it. It’s too late for me (5 more clinics!), but I really hope that they change it so we have 40-45 minutes to see a follow-up patient and staff it. Ten minutes more would make everybody’s lives so much better.

I saved my rants on my neurology program director’s selection criteria for the potential residents interviews (I’ll explain later), but believe me, I think that’s going to come up next time.

The SAR does provide me a chance to reflect on what I need to do to improve my performance and knowledge base. Even though I’ve been told that I’m doing fine, I know I need to do better. It’ll just be 2.5 years before I’m done and expected to know this stuff and I can’t afford to put it off or rely on the lectures to learn it.

Goals until my next SAR:

  • Read the review articles and case reports in the NEJM once a week. (Should I get subscription to NEJM, even though I hate getting journals and end up recycling without reading most of them?)
  • Read a chapter from Principles of Neurology a week
  • Read a chapter from the MKSAP board review book each night
  • Catch up on clinic notes (I’m 18 behind)
  • Complete evaluations (I’m 5 behind)
  • Improve on teaching with students. I always feel like I’m lacking time to teach. I need to have dedicated time with the students each morning.

Obviously, I have some work to do!

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