wake me up when it’s over

August 18, 2004

my clinical year is all but complete. i worked my last day in the peds clinic today and the only remaining hurdle is my shelf exam tomorrow. that, and a couple of H&Ps i never finished and a “patient log” that i am going to have to put together somehow. couldn’t i just hand in this blog? i’m sure it would be worth more than a bunch of initials and ethnicity detail (that one’s easy, all native american) next to nebulous problems “runny nose” and “one leg shorter than the other”.

since i completely forgot to track my patients during the outpatient portion of this rotation, i am just going to write a list of a representative day’s-worth of patients, and if they are unsatisfied with my scraggly little “patient log” then they can yell at me later. i’ll be too happy about being finished with my clerkship year to care.

i really am happy to be done. while i really enjoy interacting with the kids and working up their problems, the med-student role i had to play all year long has become very tiresome. i know that i’m not qualified to diagnose and treat by myself, but that doesn’t mean i have to enjoy waiting around between each patient to present the case to my superiors before going to see another one. i want to see ’em, treat ’em, and move on to the next child. i want to know enough and be good enough to do it myself, and at that point, i think i will start to really love patient care.

i still definitely want to do pediatrics (peds endocrinology ultimately), assuming that i head in the residency direction. and i probably will. but i have a lot of years ahead of me to experiment with future options. perhaps i will find myself much happier in the lab — if this happens, it would make sense to stay there. i would then have to get my kid-fix by having 7 or 8 children. or 2-3, considering that i certainly won’t be raking in enough dough with my research paycheck to buy 8 college tuitions. well, we’ll see.

i drove home thinking about all that i’ve been through in the last 13 months. it really has been a long year. unlike many of my classmates, i do not feel that it has gone by very quickly. i am not able to forget that there was a lot of misery involved. if someone told me that i had to do it again to finish medical school, i would refuse.

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so what happens to this blog? i think i am going to continue it, even though i’m not lost-and-all-alone in the middle of nowhere anymore. starting several weeks from now, i will be lost-and-all-alone again, this time in a lab, because i’m starting a phD in pharmacology. i’ll be lost, because i have no idea what i’m doing, really, and i will be all alone because i don’t know any grad students and i’m afraid that most of them will not speak english very well.

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ok, enough sap. god, am i going to be happy to be done tomorrow. bring on the champagne!

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