Hiya, folks.

Nice to see you’re still here.

Yes, I am aware that it’s been a while since I posted, and an even longer while since I’ve posted any writing- or medicine-related articles.

No, I have not forgotten about this blog.

No, I have not lost interest in writing for this blog.

No, I don’t consider myself officially “on hiatus”.

It’s just been hard for me to do much outside of residency these days. When I have the energy, I don’t have the time. When I have the time, I just don’t have the energy.

I’ve just flipped into my third year, which is apparently the hardest year in my program. My schedule cuts me off from family, friends, and hobbies. I have learned that two days off in a row feels equivalent to the way a two-week vacation used to feel. A large proportion of my daily thought process is devoted to optimizing my sleep schedule, and figuring out what and when I can eat next. I haven’t read a novel for months. I’m shocked at how excited I get when I have the time to load and run my dishwasher, and how even more excited I get if I can do it when it won’t wake up my neighbors. Any leisure time I do have, I’m much more likely to spend unproductively, rather than making headway on my novel (sitting untouched and lonely at 50,000 words) or this blog, or any of my other non-work-related projects. It’s just hard to muster the energy or the enthusiasm, knowing I’ll just have to drop it again after an hour or so, not to be revisited for weeks or even months.

The good news is, it’s only one more year. I get to start counting down the months. I’m working on my fellowship application tonight; I’m going for a Palliative Care fellowship. (All of my writing time in past weeks has gone into my personal statement.) I’m still committed to Internal Medicine as well as underserved populations, although I’m having trouble figuring out exactly how to fit my life together in a satisfying way in the current environment. I’ve started daydreaming about giving physiology lectures, though, so I guess I’ll end up somewhere where I can teach as well as doctor. (I’m clearly my parents’ child.) I’ve also started thinking about medical consultation for film and TV as a side project, because that just sounds like fun. Also, the cat is still alive, and still merrily puking her way through my apartment.


Back to the point.

People tell me there’s life after residency. I have decided to believe them. I do hope to make this blog a part of it, because I have a lot of fun with it and people seem to like it well enough. So please don’t give up on me if I don’t post for long stretches…

It’s only one more year.

Twelve. (11.75, if we want to be super-technical.)

PS: Fourth-of-July stats: 100% confused-little-old-lady dump. 8 out of 8 admissions.

Published in: on July 7, 2012 at 4:55 am  Comments (9)  

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  1. Hey! I know how you feel I haven,t updated my blog for like forever…lol anyway Im thi8nking of studiing Med too,Im going to go the first year of high school now, any tips?

    • Cool! Welcome to the profession!

      My best possible tips that I can think of: 1) Love the science. If you don’t love the science, you might want to pick a different career.

      2) Do volunteer work with hospitals. My experience as a hospital volunteer was invaluable: it got me comfortable in the hospital setting early, it introduced me to patient/family/doctor/nurse dynamics, and it set me up for the rest of my career. Hospital volunteers tend to be invisible, but they also often have a front-row seat to the inner workings. So it’s a great way to observe and see if the actual day-to-day stuff seems like it’s for you.

      3) Find a mentor, if you can. Doesn’t have to be today, doesn’t have to be in three years….but in college, maybe, find someone to do some research with, or someone who will let you tag along for a work day once in a while so you can see what the life is like.

      4) Don’t play the competition game. I’m not saying that you should slack off. Instead, I’m saying that you shouldn’t buy into the idea that in order for you to succeed, someone else has to fail. A lot of med school and residency candidates spend a lot of time and energy undermining their colleagues in order to get ahead instead of truly improving themselves. There was a girl in my med school class who, if she found a really good resource to study from, she’d immediately go around to every library in the area and check them out so no one else would be able to find or use them. Don’t play that game. Focus on expanding your knowledge base and your empathy, and don’t play those games. Be aware of them so you don’t become the victim, but don’t play them.

      5) If you don’t love it, don’t do it. It’s a rough road, but it’s worth it if you love it. If you don’t love it…it’s just a rough road.

      Best of luck! I’ll be around if you have any other questions.

      • Well, that helped me a bit too!

        You have to be 16 or older to volunteer though. πŸ˜₯

        So sad…. (and you have to be 16 or older to donate blood. Why can’t I do anything!!!!! Arg!!!!)

        Rough road…. well I think that it’ll be worth it for me at least. (Let me put it this way. I could spend hours reading medication labels or looking at syringes or reading a medical textbook.)

        I think the jetlag is talking right now so sorry if this makes no sense….

        • Hi, Marina! Glad this could help!

          I actually got my start volunteering with a community outreach program, at age 11. Does your local children’s hospital have any programs like that? If you wanted to, you could email their volunteer department and ask if there are any programs that you could help with at your age.

          But on a larger scale, don’t sweat the age thing. It sucks being told you’re not old enough to do stuff sometimes, but there are all kinds of benefits to being under 16. You may not appreciate them until you’re older, though, and I just made myself sound like an old fogey by saying that, but I’ll stick by it. Don’t be in too much of a hurry to grow up. Seriously, live life, hang out with your friends, explore cool things and always enjoy where you are. Let your age take care of itself (because it will) and focus on finding and enjoying the unique things about the age that you ARE. There will be plenty of time for the medical stuff later, if you’re still interested, and it will consume enough of your life that you don’t have to start right this instant.


  2. Hang in there, just one more year! My surgical residents are going through the same thing and I feel for them. Palliative care medicine? Try UNC CH, they have a wonderful palliative care program and the weather is always fine and you are 2 hours from beach and mountains. Nuttin’ could be finer than to be in Carolina…….

  3. We’ll be here. πŸ™‚

    • And I will be too! It’ll be a party! A sciencey, writingy, bloggy party!

  4. Just let us know you’re still alive now and then! Until your blog came along, I never knew how much of a doctor’s stress comes from dealing with heartless idiots. Those poor confused ladies! Getting dumped off in a strange place does NOT help the condition, as I’m sure you’re all to well aware.

    Hang in there, and hang on to the sense of humor you’ve shown. The faux shaven cat episode will live in my memory for as long as I have a memory.

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