Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Med Spec

'Medical Sub-specialties' is a great rotation, but I am feeling completely exhausted. Lately there is not much time that isn't spent either studying like a girl possessed, or in clinics/meetings/rounds.

It seems that a lot of lunches are spent in professional meetings, so there isn't much time-out. I guess it is probably better to go home earlier than spend more time at work, but I am used to at least having a few minutes to myself each day to collect my thoughts.

I'm really enjoying the subject matter and can tell that I have learned a lot. There is still so much that I have to learn before I can start to feel any kind of confidence. One of the lovely people supervising me has said that the important thing about being a junior doctor is knowing when to ask for help - and that you should ask for opinions often rather than not at all.

Of course, asking an opinion isn't the same thing as calling somebody up with no information, unprepared and having no idea what you are doing. I constantly feel clueless, and although I know that the exceedingly intelligent doctors around me have felt the same way in the past, this doesn't make me feel any better.

I don't feel comfortable when I get pimped and don't know the answer. I am not at all upset, but the discomfort comes from feeling like I should know what is being asked, and that I am scared about being a bad doctor and that my lack of knowledge could in some way hurt somebody in the future.

This isn't something that I obsess about, but it is a thought that haunts me a little, particularly when we have tutorials where they mention the old "this happened to an intern in this state X decades/months/years ago".

I really enjoy this area, so it has been a great start to the year. We have a week and a half left before our exam, and I can't wait for the week off. Note to self: less coffee and stress will lead to less need for ranitidine and small snacks of bread.

It is a horrifying yet wonderful thought that our first rotation of the last year of medical school is nearly over.


Sara said...

That does sound like a good kind of rotation. And that's great advice.

Too bad now, whenever I ask for opinions, people see me as indecisive or incompetent.

Dragonfly said...

I was so horrified when my first rotation finished last year and I was all "er, the next time I do this will be as a doctor. What!!"
Nobody wants to be a cautionary tale or have their patient be a cautionary tale. I think I have definitely erred on the side of asking too often over the last month or so, but afterwards talking about it with other interns and debriefing tends to normalise and validate it when they say "your patient had WHAT?" So I continue to stalk my registrar/PGY2 whenever I don't know what to do, and even (at times) consultants...