The Start

A month and a half into residency and I “haven’t found the time” to update this blog. The whole purpose of this blog was to document my big moments in medicine and highlight the milestones on this journey. I’m only working 6 hours a day on this rotation and I haven’t managed to get my life together enough to write about it. You have no idea how hard I’m rolling my eyes at myself right now.

The start of residency felt like a lot of fear, panicked recall of medical facts, preparing for no sleep, and a tiny little of bit of pride at finally being able to call myself “Doctor.” Of course not even a shift or two into emergency medicine, I realised that’s still way too weird to hear it spoken out loud next to my last name so I resorted back to introducing myself as my first name. I still try to explain that I’m a resident, but I don’t know how many patients actually know what a resident is, so they’re all probably thinking I’m a nurse especially when I’m on the way out to review with my preceptor and they ask, “So is the real doctor going to see me now?”

I’m definitely not the confident resident I’d hoped to be, and I’d like to say that nobody is yet, but that’s not true… I’m quite sure some of my co-residents are owning up to their role as a full on physician who offers patients a diagnosis, a management plan, further investigations, and treatment, while I’m still in that med school phase of not wanting to say anything that might get corrected by my preceptor. For god’s sake yesterday I even forgot to do a physical exam on a patient because I got distracted by taking her weight. At the end of my emergency rotation when I was just starting to feel comfortable with the department, with the EMR, with the general flow of things, they switch you over and you’re in a whole new place with different preceptors and different expectations to get used to, seeing a different population and feeling like you know nothing all over again.

It isn’t helping my confidence to know that I’m getting my life together as an independent adult who’s got plenty of time to plan ahead and yet I’m not using my time wisely enough to clean my apartment, join a martial arts class, study some actual medicine so I can keep patients alive on MTU, and meditate. The only adulting I’ve been successful at is keeping my gym routine and somewhat decent eating habits. As in, yes I’ve actually been going to the gym 4-5 times a week, so I guess that’s one accomplishment to be proud of.

I’ll keep a rolling tally of how I’m doing with my adulting over the next few months, as I expect it’ll certainly get better with time and when I actually spend my weekends here rather than driving back to my parent’s house all the time. But more importantly I do want to see an improvement in my confidence level as a physician. Yes, I am an actual doctor now. I can call myself that, I can look at myself in such regard, and I should start acting like one around patients too.

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