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15th April 2009

the slow path

(written this afternoon. The hospital’s firewall prevented me from posting)

I realized yesterday, as I was looking at my schedule for next year, that while I’ve been feeling like I’ve been doing residency forever, I still have 10 months of internal medicine left to go. 10 months. Since I’m doing a combined residency, I have 30 months of medicine and 30 months of neurology, compared to my colleagues who do 36 months of medicine or neurology. Not only am I missing out on six months of training, but as it is, I’ve still got a third of my training left. I’ve been comparing myself pretty harshly to my fellow residents, especially the medicine residents as they are graduating in 2 months and I certainly have not felt that I’m at that point and was quite discouraged. Yesterday, I was dispondant after getting lectured by one of my friends about a disease presentation that I didn’t know anything about, but he was rattling off all of the clinical symptoms and signs and I felt like an idiot. I feel a little better now, realizing that I still have time to learn it all.

I’m on neurology consults this month (I think I mentioned that) and it’s also been an opportunity for me to appreciate how much I have learned as well. I was on this same rotation two years ago as an intern and it was one of the hardest months of that year (the other 2 being the inpatient neurology wards). I didn’t know anything. I felt like I was struggling every day to ever come up with one idea of what exactly was causing the altered mental status/weakness/seizure/what have you, much less come up with a differential diagnosis or a diagnostic and treatment plan. Now, I at least know where to go and read about it, or know the common workup for common problems and can generate some reasonable ideas about where to go next. My attending actually commented on it. It was his last day, so he was giving me feedback, and he stated that he could see the growth and knowledge maturity. I feel more optimistic that by the time these next two years are over, there may be a middling fair neurologist in me. And that’s better than what I’ve been feeling in a long time.

On a related note, I’m still struggling on the decision for a career path after graduation. Unfortunately, the decision about fellowship needs to be made relatively soon, so that I can get research projects started to beef up my slim and rather non-impressive CV, as well as trying to go to conferences so I can start networking etc. I change my mind on an hourly basis. It’s a sad state of affairs. I’ve decided to give myself until June. Someday, I’ll do a big long post about the positives and negatives about the decision. Maybe it’ll help me think through things.

I am quite smitten with one of my attendings. I worked with him briefly last month and had butterflies during every patient presentation. Recently, I’ve gotten to interact with him more because our teams have been consulted on the same patients. When he greets me with a half smirk and razzes me about my treatment ideas, I get swoony. You think music is the language of love? For me, it’s vestibular neuritis due to colistimethate (don’t worry, I hadn’t even heard of the drug before, either!). I’m almost seeking out consults, just so I can have those few minutes of conversation.

I’ve missed having a work crush. It’s been a long time since CuteIntern disappeared into the dark coves of the hospital and I have not had a good flirtation since then. I think, however, that all of the period dramas that I’ve been watching these past weeks have affected my mind and I’m ready to see romance from every random corner. It’ll pass, I’m sure.

The hospital has a repeating playlist of songs that are piped over the hospital. It includes a piano version of the theme to Titantic and it plays Every. Single. Day. Usually around 10 or 11 in the morning. I went the entire day today without hearing it… until I returned a phone call just now and got placed on hold to that song. Grrr.

Vienna Teng is performing in Chicago this Friday and I’m so excited. She’ll never come to Milwaukee again; poor attendance for two concerts would convince anybody not to come again, but I’m grateful that I live so close to Chicago so I still can see her.

I realize that everybody has probably seen this video, but I couldn’t resist sharing. I love Britains Got Talent; it has a way of tugging at your heart strings. Paul Potts the first year, Andrew Johnston the second and then this year, Susan Boyle. Just lovely, I was seriously in tears.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009 at 10:34 pm and is filed under All About Me, Resident Life. 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.

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