LIFE LATELY: Week 1 out of 8 of Internal Medicine is done. This week has been EXHAUSTING. I was struggling with getting enough sleep, juggling my new schedule, and so much more but I think I finally got the hang of this thing. I tried to have a strict schedule where I was waking up at 4am to study but I ended up exhausted by mid-day. As a result, I decided to switch things around and now I aim to be in bed by 9pm (grandma status) or 11pm the latest so I can be up and ready to go by 5am. Instead of studying in the am before going to the hospital, I try to find time after my shift to get some work done before bed. The hardest part about this rotation right now is the commute. The commute to the hospital is about 35 min and the way back is 45min-1hr depending on when I leave. Thankfully I found a gym and a few coffee shops in the area that I can go to and wait for traffic to die down. Other than working and trying to get sleep, I haven’t done much of anything else. Today was my day off and I was going to make brunch plans, go to church and so much more, but running on 4-5 hrs of sleep everyday this week had me feeling run down so I ended up getting much needed rest and I used the rest of my day to do laundry and get some studying in. Hopefully my next day off is a bit more exciting.
AROUND THE BLOG: You probably already saw my How to Stay Organized in Medical School post. Well today I posted a follow up to that, which was a review of the Erin Condren planner I use. I’ve used her planners for a while but I finally caved and started using her other accessories. Some accessories are a splurge and others are necessities for me. I share my favorites and must-haves in this post here so be sure to check it out.
LA LIVING: Last week I mentioned that my cousin was in town. We did so many touristy things that I’ll be sharing here soon. I’m glad I had some time to really experience the city. It’s crazy that I have lived here for 3 years now, and I still haven’t seen everything that there is to see here!
WHAT I’M READING: Today I read Case Files: Internal Medicine. I want to get back to reading real books again. Now that I have a regular schedule in place I think I’m going to use the last 30 minutes before bed to decompress, journal and read a book. Even if it’s just for 10 minutes, I rather read a few pages than nothing. Have any of you tried listening to audiobooks? I’m thinking I’ll give them a try to listen during my car rides or maybe while I’m getting ready for bed. Personally I feel like nothing is better than a real tangible book. But then again I said that about e-readers and now I almost exclusively use the kindle for iPad app.
AROUND THE HOUSE: No updates here. Although I finally caved and did laundry today. It’s amazing to have so many options to wear again. I really need to stop waiting until I run out of clothes. I also still need to spray paint my desk and my side table. I think I will save this for my next day off. There’s a few other DIY projects I’d love to do like painting a canvas for my living area. Hopefully I’m not as tired next week as I was this week and I can get those projects done.
MEDICINE: Like I mentioned above, I finally finished my first week of my Internal Medicine rotation. Okay I’ll admit it wasn’t that bad. I enjoy my team, I enjoy my patients, and I’m learning SO MUCH. I finally figured out a sleep and study schedule that’s feasible for me. Its weird because I definitely thought I wouldn’t enjoy this rotation that much. But after a week on the wards I can see why people choose this field for residency and I sorta kinda really like it. Although the hours are long, this is kiterally “the bread and butter” of medicine and I get to see and do so much.
In addition to learning about patient care, being in the hospital really emphasized my passion for improving efficiency in healthcare. I had a few conversations with my attending and residents about hospital organization and some of the things that are inefficient. We talked about how policy and technology can be used in the future to create a shift. Something that stuck with me was my attending telling me that there’s not enough doctors in the fields that are needed to create change. For instance, Universal Electronic Medical Records (EMR) isn’t impossible. In fact the technology and software exist, but most of the ones behind these large EMR companies and the software development are not physicians and as a result their motives ($$ and billing) are different from those of the providers (outcomes & patient care). I may not be the one to provide a solution to the Universal EMR dilemma, but this past week made me realize that I want to be at the forefront of health innovation and finding these solutions. It also made me realize that while I enjoy the business and tech world of medicine I do enjoy patient care as well and while I may not always be a full-time provider, I do want to keep patient care as part of my career.
I’m looking forward to seeing what the next 7 weeks of my IM rotation have to offer. My goal is to learn enough so that I do well on my exam (and so that I can be a good doctor for my patients). Additionally, I’m equally excited to use these next 7 weeks to help unveil my interests in healthcare and discover where I fit in and how I can best contribute to the field of medicine.
Anyways, I hope your week was less hectic than mine!