it seems apropos that i will be headed back to work this week — after all, july 1 [often the end of june, really] is the ‘first day of school!’ for new interns, residents, and fellows alike. i will beginning my 3rd [LAST!] year of endocrine fellowship training*, entering my 11th [and LAST! did i mention last? LAAAAAST] year of post-college education. of course residency and fellowship aren’t exactly the same thing as the 9th grade — it’s an interesting hybrid between having a ‘real job’ and feeling like you’re still in mrs. jerkins’ 5th period science class. you get a paycheck, but certainly not a ‘doctor’ salary. you have clear responsibilities of your own, but you never get the final say on anything. and along with clinical duties, you have a great deal of your time and energy focused on learning.
it’s not the memorizing-the-dictionary type of learning that can make medical school tedious. rather, it’s learning concepts, understanding patterns, and also finding the best ways to be efficient and communicate clearly with patients and colleagues. i remember during intern year being frustrated because i couldn’t spend a lot of time reading, but that was probably the year with the highest learning curve in my life: i learned so much about being a doctor and working in the real world just by, you know, doing it.
anyway, i’ve already written a post on tips for new interns + residents in july and i think it’s pretty good, so i’m not going to reinvent the wheel! good luck to those who are starting anew this year — and welcome!
i know they always say this and on your 38th overnight shift it’s hard to believe, but it really does go fast. at least it feels that way from this end.
* really, i still have to make up a month of second year due to my leave and will become a ‘real’ third year on august 1. but the only one who is paying attention to these details is me, so i’m going to consider myself promoted.