Thursday, July 17, 2008

a leaf falls

Medicine has been great so far, it is almost the end of my third week and we are on-call tomorrow. What impresses me is that almost everything can fall within the umbrella of internal medicine -- the heart, the lung, the brain, the GI tract, and infections of every kind.

What also impresses me is how the doctors at UCSF in the dept. of medicine are so devoted to educating the medical students and taking the extra time to teach us when they could easily ignore us or make us do scutwork (KIDDING). in fact, the culture of the medicine dept. at Moffitt has been so welcoming and comfortable. As a third year medical student, it's easy to feel like the smallest kid in the medicine family, and the residents and attendings recognize this and take the time to truly nurture us.

Medicine has also been extremely busy, and 8 weeks of inpatient care with call every 4 days (we don't usually stay overnight, but sometimes we can be home from 3-6 a.m.) can be a marathon. One thing that I've noticed and somewhat expected (now that there's time to be contemplative and write long blog entries) is that third year can feel rather isolating. There's not much time to do things beyond shower, eat dinner, and maybe clean the kitchen and I've been trying unsuccessfully to sleep at 10 pm. Although it's nice to see my classmates in the hospital and build relationships with patients and my team, I miss feeling connected to people outside of the hospital and having leisure time without all the weekends blurring away into a 4-day cycle of work-work-work-sleep. Watching my interns and residents, it seems like there will be at least several more years of sleepless, blurry weeks before I can be a craggy old attending who doesn't carry a pager and makes tennis dates with his colleagues (for reals).

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