18 Months Until I’m a Doctor

I am grateful I am still in school, because I get 2 weeks of holiday break and that certainly won’t be there once I’m working as a physician. Most rookie residents get to choose which day they want off: New Years Day, or Christmas Day. In the mean time, I am spending quality time with my family while I still can. I am in NY with my two adorable little nephews, aged 1 and 3, and my first and only child, my 84-pound dog.

I have been doing clinical rotations for 7 months now. Each month my school puts me at a new place, and I have to relearn the rules, conduct, expectations, and temperament of the physicians I work beneath. It forces me to stay on my toes, and I love it. Under my belt is 4 weeks in each of the following: internal medicine, cardiology, infectious disease, family medicine, geriatrics/palliative care, pediatrics, and obstetrics/gynecology. As a third-year medical student I am expected to begin choosing which career path I am headed. I have truthfully enjoyed each of these rotations; it’s difficult to decide which path I want to take. I spent my spare time during internal medicine in the intensive care unit (ICU) and love the variety of cases and care one has to handle there the most so far.

What can you expect to have accomplished with a half year of clinical rotations completed? I have been able to draw blood about 50 times, scrub, suture, and tie knots in surgery, place a nasogastric (NG) tube and laryngeal mask airway (LMA), cardioverted 3 patients in a-fib, gave injections, used a few different doppler ultrasounds for pulses, did 2 dilation & curettages (D&Cs), and debrided burn wounds. I cannot say that my classmates have done equally as much, because I actively try my best to offer help and ask to be taught new procedures on each rotation. I recommend that whether you are shadowing now or plan on performing your best on clinical rotations, you ask if you can perform techniques like these.

My advice for you today is to keep working hard and do not stop educating yourself! The more you read and the more you practice, the more well-versed you will become. Auf Wiedersehen for now, and happy holidays!Feliz Navidad!