Ok, so that was really bad. My last blog entry was in 2012…..? Oh how the time flies. Or maybe the proper thing to say is, oh how all consuming residency is! I must admit that over the past 2+ years I don’t recall even thinking about this blog….not even once. There were just too many other things going on in life. A lot has happened since 2012.
Intern year: Being an intern was the most challenging, stressful, time consuming, tiring thing I have ever done in my life. There were many times along the way I thought, “why did I become a doctor? I wish I could quit.” I have to say that an amazingly supportive family and friends and an amazingly supportive residency program are the things that keep you going when the going gets tough. Intern year consisted of 9 out of 12 months on “inpatient” services. This means caring for hospitalized patients and working long hours. Duty hour restrictions mandate that interns can’t work more than 80 hours per week (but averaged over 4 weeks) and that you must have 4 days off per month (to name a few). Many weeks are longer than 80 hours per week and a day can be up to 16 hours. There is not always a lot of time to sleep! As family medicine residents, we rotate through inpatient pediatrics, surgery, obstetrics, ICU and family medicine. I often had feelings of inadequacy and being too slow and inefficient. Luckily, time passes and intern year comes to an end eventually. Upon looking back at the tough times, I do realize how much I learned and grew as a doctor. I was lucky to be at Masonic and feel thankful everyday that I am surrounded by such great doctors, teachers and friends!
PGY2 year: Hours improved during the second year but with that comes more responsibility as a “Senior Resident”. This means taking 24 hour in house call at the hospital and being alone covering the service overnight, along with supervising interns during their family medicine service months. Being a senior was definitely stressful but it is also fun to help teach and give advice to your juniors - you can understand and relate to what they are going through! This year consisted of much more outpatient work and better hours. I found most of my irritation to come through working in the clinic and fighting with our EMR (electronic medical record). Clinic is normally very busy, moving quickly from one patient to the next, hearing about each patient’s complaints and concerns, and trying to give each patient the time they deserve but also trying to stay on time. At the end of a clinic, you realize the work has only just begun. Hopefully, you have entered some data into the EMR, but usually there is plenty of charting to finish. I would find myself sitting charting for hours after my clinic finished. Luckily, I found friendship in my “work wife” Vicky - we would sit and chart together and sometimes go for Chipotle dinner after hours of charting. LOVE YOU VICKY!!!
PGY3 year (present time): Now I find myself in my 3rd and final year of residency. I knew my goal coming into family medicine residency was to do a sports medicine fellowship. Most of the work to make this a reality comes during the 3rd year which consists of audition rotations, applications, interviews and once again the dreaded MATCH!!!! I decided to do 2 audition rotations - one at Notre Dame and the other at Michigan State. I picked Notre Dame because over the past 2 years we had matched a resident from Masonic into their sports fellowship. My story about MSU dates back to several years back when I learned about Dr. Larry Nassar - head team physician at USA gymnastics. After doing some research, I saw that he was at MSU and seemed to be part of their faculty. I knew this was a place where I could potentially work with Dr. Nassar and gets lots of experience and exposure to working with gymnasts. I was able to set up an away rotation there, which was a great experience. At that time, I met Dr. Brooke Lemmen (the fellowship director) who is a former gymnast. We learned early on in my rotation that we had both attended U of I gymnastics camp in our younger years and the following day Dr. Lemmen brought in a picture from camp where we were literally standing 3 people away from each other! What a small world! The application and interview process was long and hard, especially because Bill had already matched into a fellowship of his own doing neuroradiology at Northwestern Hospital and a fellowship anywhere but Chicago would mean long distance again for us. All in all, I knew I wanted a strong collegiate experience in my fellowship and I didn't’ think I could get that in Chicago. On January 7th, 2015, while on my first Utah ski trip in over 10 years, I got the news that I had matched at MSU!!!! It was dream come true and the realization that all of this hard work in residency had paid off. Soon I will get to focus on learning about the care of patients with problems related to sports and exercise. One of the most exciting things for me will be directly working with MSU athletic teams and taking care of not only their musculoskeletal injuries, but also general primary care. It has been a long time in the making, but I am finally realizing my dream!
Hopefully more to come from me in the near future!
7 years ago