So! Tomorrow begins the dreaded clerkship experience of being on call. I have been in my surgery rotation for two and a half days now, not including the two and a half days of lecture/orientation we experienced earlier in the week, and now I am going in for the long shift. For the first time. Over the labour day long weekend.
I think “traumatic” is probably the best descriptor, here. Pun intended.
My big fear is not that I’ll be faced with something that I can’t handle–as a green SI3 (student intern, year three), I’m not left alone to wreak havoc– but I do worry I’m totally unprepared to understand whatever pathology process I see tomorrow. This is probably okay, if uncomfortable. As one of the surgeons said during our orientation, “if you already knew everything that you needed to and could understand it all by yourself, you’d be doctors and not medical students.”
It’s always the anticipation of these things that makes it worse. The night before my first day of ward work, I felt fairly conflicted, but by the time I was up striding around after my incredibly speedy colleagues, I felt fine. I still didn’t (and don’t) know very much, but at least I was doing something.
For tomorrow, I’ll bet that the quiet moments, should they come, of waiting for my pager to go off will be the worst; the actual attempting-to-do-something-that-kindasortamaybe-is-medicine-I-hope shouldn’t be so bad. I’ll let you know how that idea pans out.
If there is one thing I am grateful about, it’s that I’ve begun my rotations at a trauma hospital on the surgical emergency response team. Everything else should seem sedate compared to the sheer amount of running around I do now.
And on that note, I shall end this entry by linking you to a completely unrelated podcast I did with my friend over at One Last Sketch, Michal Wojcik. Because right now, sleep is more important than a snappy ending to this entry.