Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dr. Dolittle

In clinic this week …
Patient (reading a book): “Mom, what type of duck is this?”
Mom: “Child, I ain’t no Dr. Dolittle.”

I’m a full week into residency, and still alive. (My husband reminds me that if I make it and if my patients make it through the day, then it’s been a good day.)
It’s been a big transition into residency.  In med school, I had no responsibility and was very limited in what I could do patient-care wise. Now, I can do everything and am expected to do everything. Patients think you know what you’re talking about when you have on the white coat. People take you more seriously on the phone when you introduce yourself as doctor.
Still, when my patients say “What do I do doc?” I look around the room for a doctor. A real doctor. But then I realize I’m the doctor. A real doctor in a long white coat. I have to reply to them.
I’m so green. And also so rusty. I’ve lost my rhythm in the past year. I frequently feel like Dr. Dolittle. Actually, it’s more like Dr. DoThingsInefficently.  With that said, I have learned a ton of information in the past week. It’s amazing how much better I am at doctoring now, and it’s only been a week. By the end of the day, my brain is total mush. And I’m just doing an outpatient (clinic/office-based) month. The hard months are yet to come.
While it’s been challenging, I’ve really been enjoying work. I love talking to parents and playing with kids. I like calling patients and being able to get handled things somewhat autonomously. I like being able to actually sign a script. My coworkers and attending have been nothing but wonderful, which makes work much more enjoyable.
Coming home to my monsies (my son) has been wonderful. He runs for me and squeals when I walk in the door. It is the best thing ever. I have been missing my son terribly, but he’s been doing great with my husband. I am able to give him 100% attention in the evenings . He fortunately is a night owl by nature, so we get a lot of quality time together. But then he goes to bed and my energy disappears, and I fall asleep on the couch after reading for 5 minutes. I’m just exhausted by the end of the day.
It’s been hard so far, but I knew it would be a difficult transition. I keep reminding myself that I am in the midst of a huge adjustment. I’ve gone from one extreme to the other – stay-at-home-mom to work-a-lot-mom.  (My goal someday is somewhere in between.) Things have been working out as smoothly as possible thus far. I am very thankful to have such great support from my husband. He’s amazing. He is really the one making this all go so well.

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