Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Hanging in

Peds ended on Friday with the exam I spoke of briefly. I first wrote about this rotation way back on January 10th, and Maria responded by saying, "I am betting that within a week you fucking LOVE peds..." I wanted her to win that bet because I love to fucking LOVE things. Sadly, though, she's lost this one.

I didn't love peds. There were days I thought, "If I have to look in one more squirming kid's ear, I'm going to stab myself with this otoscope."

I was told at the beginning that I was going to spend two weeks in the NICU. I looked forward to that more than anything. And, it was a huge fucking disappointment. I like ICU medicine and its critically ill patients. I was thinking that NICU was going to be like taking care of critically ill neonates (because that's what NICU means). I, however, was never allowed to care for critically ill babies. I was given two "feeder growers"--the kids who are just working on gaining a little weight before going home. Beyond boring.

And to top it off, I had to work with a nurse practitioner I came to know as The Angry Canadian. So named because she was Canadian, and I've never met such a piss ant from the country of ice hockey and curling.

Outpatient peds was repetitive.
NICU was a huge disappointment.
I was sad for six weeks. Actual pathetic sadness. Sad and tired. Tired from spending all day trying to hide my disappointment and sadness.

I am writing this down because I have occasionally run into doctors who say, "Oh med school. Yeah, that was great. Loved every minute of it." I have, for the most part, been having a fine and dandy year. But, I think it's worth remembering I haven't loved every minute of it. It's worth remembering so that I can spot that look--the sad, tired from trying to hide it look--in a student's eyes some day and mean it when I say, "Some of these rotations are just like wading through shit. Hang in there, kid."

This week, I started family medicine. I am no more interested in it than I was in peds. But, I like the people I'm working with, and I'm enjoying the older patients. Older patients have stories. I couldn't patiently listen to all of 'em for a living, but I think I may enjoy it for six weeks.


Amanda said...

I can't believe you do so many different things! I mean I guess, hello, you need to get experience in all the different parts, but I don't think I'd ever thought of that before! Impressive!

Mme Benaut said...

At least some older patients can both talk and explain their symptoms - there has to be some progression from peds in that. I really do hope that you find some happiness in this rotation Terroni - rewarding stuff too. It makes me so sad to think of you being so sad and tired from hiding it. Lots of hugs little one.

dive said...

Good luck with the oldies, T.
Glad to hear you managed to stick it out with the peds. At least you're getting to see a bit of everything, even if some of it sucks.

Susan said...

Aww T... Yeah there's nothing grosser than kid snot, and nothing more obnoxious than the parent of a sick child. I hope you won't have to be sad anymore, and at least now you know exactly where you *don't* want to end up.

nina said...

So what you are saying is that Grey's Anatomy and ER are not a true representation of internship?



Maria said...

Well...shit. Sounds like you did a lot of what we used to call "plant sitting"...a not very nice way of saying it.

Too bad you didn't get to see some interesting cases.

What have you liked the best so far? Keep in mind that you don't always excel at what you like the best. I always figured you were one of those types who swore that they didn't like kids and their um...snot but deep down inside, you would melt. Sounds like you really MEANT it...huh?

Family practice was a snore. And anyone who has only fond memories of med school is a big fat liar. Sleep deprivation and terror, tempered by extreme boredom and a raging case of hypochondria. Yeah, that rings a bell....

Terroni said...

I really like critical care. I'm thinking I may do anesthesia and then do a critical care fellowship. I love all that physiology. And, it's funny that you mention that whole "it may not be what you're best at" bit because I feel that way about critical care. I love it, but it's not all intuitive for me like it is for some. Because I like it, though, it's easier for me to study. So...I end up doing a lot more reading in critical care, and, in the end, knowing it better than those things that are more intuitive. It also helps that I'm learning to trust my own exam.