Saturday, May 29, 2010

Middle Earth

There is a small outdoor seating area near the cafeteria at the hospital. It has a few tables and looks out onto a nice view. The lawn beneath the tables is full of bumps and holes made by dozens of gophers. One has to be careful when walking near the tables because some of the holes are quite substantial and can envelop an entire foot or ankle.

I was sitting out there earlier this week enjoy a couple of minutes of fresh air and clear cell phone reception. It was lunchtime and most of the tables were occupied. A man came along walking a large dog on the leash. I am not sure exactly what type of dog it was, but probably a mutt mix of several breeds. The man sat down at a table and took out his stuff. He had the leash draped over the edge of the table.

All of a sudden I saw a little tan gopher head pop up in one of the holes. In a split second that dog leapt over the hole and started barking and veraciously digging. It appeared the gopher had gotten the quick head start it needed to burrow back underground. The dog was digging, throwing dirt everywhere, and stuck its whole head into the hole. His owner ran over and tried to pull the dog out of the gopher hole, but to no avail. That dog wanted the gopher.

The whole time the owner was pulling on the dog's leash and yelling, "Frodo, no, Frodo no! Frodo we aren't in Middle-Earth yet!"

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Burnt Out

Out With The Old

The end is finally coming into view. The last month has been busy and hard. It has been difficult to be motivated about the work I am doing since it will have little relevance come mid-June. Luckily, I am ending at one of our lighter rotation sites, so it is not quite the onslaught that I became used to on other rotations. Basically, I go in, do my work, and come home. There is no more attempting to read, looking at teaching slides, or preparing for unknown case sessions. I have definitely come to see that if I just went through the motions in this residency and just did service work, there is no way I would learn enough to pass boards and to know what I would need to know. Pathology is a reading-intensive field, which I knew coming in. Not really enjoying the reading was a huge red flag for me and a sign that I needed to get out. Other than that, I am trying to wrap up some research projects I have been working on. I am hopeful that some of them can eventually become nice line items on my CV, and one project even has a pediatric-focus so maybe could turn into something more down the line.

In With The New

I got my intern schedule and I will be starting in the NICU. I am sure it will be intense, but I am all for trial-by-fire learning and am excited to have a schedule that is more front-loaded overall. Life is definitely going to get even busier and I will have to re-adjust to sleep deprivation (yuck). But I am excited about getting back to the bedside and feeling more energized about work again. Right now I am wading through all of the paperwork and things that need to be done before starting a new residency. I had forgotten how much paperwork there was the first time around.

Thicker Skin, Broader Vision

One thing I can say for the experiences over the past two years is that I have developed a much better sense of how hospitals run. My current field is so administrative in many ways, and we deal with every specialty at some time or another. I have gained a much broader knowledge of the proverbial chains of command that all orders/decisions/etc must flow through. And, after all of the dealings that I have had with angry clinicians/staff, there is not too much that goes on behind the scenes that is going to surprise me. Of course I know that the new residency will have tons of its own stressors and different things to adapt too. But I am hoping that I will go in at least somewhat more comfortable than I was leaving medical school and entering my current program.