I've never blogged before (hopefully I'm doing it now, I'm not sure I'm posting this in the right place...)
I'm nearing the end of intern year in internal medicine at a small community program. Even at the end of this year, I love my job almost every day. A few of us interns were hanging out yesterday talking about the year in general and how it's been. More than one said they had considered quitting at some point in the year. How about you? they asked.
I never thought about quitting this year. What did I think about when the slog of 17 days without a day off skewed toward unbearable?
- little smiling faces at home, the joy of time with them, and being a better mom/wife because I'm working a job I love
- the years of studying, the endless biochem pathway memorizations that didn't matter, and the tests I struggled with in anatomy
- that fifth time I took the MCAT
- the privelege and honor of being someone's physician
- the (sometimes) little but (always) real differences I make every day
- all the other jobs I've had in my life, none of which were stimulating or fulfilling
I can't imagine doing anything else. I'm looking forward to the end of intern year, but I'm also a little sad that I'll never have this opportunity again - it's been an amazing year for learning and growing.
Mostly, though, I'm looking forward to a little more time at home
A friend of mine graduated today from med school. She asked me how to avoing hating intern year. I have no secrets to life, no quick fix for the gruel of the year. What I do have to offer is to try saying "my life is awesome" a little more often than "my life sucks". Honestly? I still smile every day when I park in front of the Physician Only parking sign. Sunshine and roses it is not, but I am living the dream.
It turns out I'm a bad patient. One who may even be fired. I just received a not-so-friendly reminder from my dentist that my family is 3 months overdue for our 6 month check up. The letter encouraged me to schedule appts ASAP for the health of our teeth and suggested that they aren't so much interested in continuing a relationship with people who can't/won't do so.
Before I called their office today and quit (as a family of 5), I decided to sleep on it. It seems they have a new front office employee who may not know about our particular situation. She may not know that I finally got a haircut this week for the first time in 9 months (after having to reschedule twice because I was called in for contingency), or that sometimes I don't have time to feed myself let alone scamper in for a cleaning.
The dentist herself graduated dental school the same place I went to med school and has 3 kids of her own. Every time I've seen her over the last 5 years, she's encouraged me and has been understanding about my precious time and financial resources.
It leads me to wonder how it is that a dentist can "fire" me for being a few months late for a checkup. What if I, as a PCP, did the same??? Or fired all the poorly controlled diabetic patients wreking havoc on my diabetes dashboard??? Outrageous. I have 2 brothers who are dentists, so I know many of the struggles of the profession. I just don't like being judged, or threatened for that matter. My husband suggests I'm being a little sensitive - he's often right.
Guess I know what I'll be doing during my week off before the beginning of R2. I think I'll bring the letter with me and ask the dentist what she thinks...
Sometimes it's hard to be a doctor, and even harder to be a friend. I got a phone call from a med school friend yesterday asking me to stop by and say Hi to her mom who was being admitted for back pain. My friend's in the middle of moving for residency and couldn't be here in person.
This morning there was a code blue - I heard later it was a young lady admitted for back pain. She didn't make it. It was my friend's mom. We don't know what happened, and I don't know how to help my friend, who's moving across the country and is pulled over on the side of the road in shock.
I do know I just got off the phone with my mom, and I told her how much I love her.
Do what you love, with whom you love. Life's too short.