The world of medicine is like a bubble. A lot of people THINK they know what goes on there, but unless you're down in the trenches it's unlikely you do. So here is my semi-anonymous blog, here to tell you what really goes on in the life of a medical resident.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The More I Bitch, the More Things Stay the Same

You all heard me whine and moan about two months of surgery. Part of what kept me sane through the ordeal of hundred-hour work weeks, run-ins with senior residents, 5am wake ups and endless panic was the knowledge that it would get better. That I would get my life back. That I would someday see the inside of my gym once again, that I would enjoy leisurely evenings cooking dinner while drinking wine with my significant other, and that my dog would know me as more than the mysterious stranger who slept in 'his' bed. This was an even greater promise when I learned that in the place of pediatrics, which I was initially scheduled to do in January and February, I would instead be doing family medicine. No call, regular hours... a regular nirvana for an overworked, increasingly bitter resident who could only dream of the promise of re-discovering those parts of her that had nothing to do with the practice of medicine.

Hmm. Not so much.

Thanks to my commute to my small-town community-based preceptor's practice, I am effectively gone from 7am to 7pm. Not much different from surgery. And although I definitely don't miss the panic that comes with patients who crash in the middle of the night, I miss the post-call days where I am liberated from the hospital at noon (or thereabouts) and able to see the light of day. Still haven't seen the gym. Learning how to use my slowcooker. Still unfamiliar to my dog. Le sigh.

But that's the only negative so far... I am enjoying family medicine WAY more than I expected to. What I thought would be a means to an end has actually been surprisingly enjoyable. I think this is due, in large part, to the fact that I'm working fairly independently. I see patients on my own and if their problem is relatively small and uncomplicated, I deal with it and send them on their way. Otherwise, I consult with the boss before letting the patient go. Rarely, he comes in and sees them with me.

The biggest shocker for me is the variety of problems that this family practice sees in the course of a day. I've been there a week... sure, I've seen a few upper respiratory tract infections and more depression than you can shake a stick at, but I've also seen a neat case of Raynaud's phenomenon in a teenaged boy:

A newborn with an umbilical hernia:

And many other equally interesting things that don't make interesting pictures.

My interesting case today was a guy who came in angrily demanding antibiotics for his obviously viral illness. A common scenario in family practice, and a chance to hone my conflict-resolution skills. Heh. Actually, had he been my patient (rather than my preceptor's, technically) I would have been a lot less polite. Particularly since he kept calling me 'honey' in an incredibly condescending manner. NOT the way to charm me, I assure you.

The best thing about family is that it gives me a chance to rant (even if in a subtle way) about all of the things I feel strongly about: Childhood vaccinations, flu shots, circumcision, weight loss, inappropriate use of antibiotics... and it's my JOB. And yes... all of these rants will eventually be shared with faithful blog readers, I assure you.

Just opening the door to a world of ranting. Heh.



Blogger Erin said...

I look forward to hearing your 'rants' on vacs and such. Glad you are enjoying this rotation, even if the hours suck!

1:40 AM


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