Today marks the end of my first week of my oral surgery internship. Here is what my days/nights have been like:
Arrive about 6:30 am for morning rounds. As a team, we check on the patients we have who are staying at the hospital. The on-call resident details how they did during the night, including any changes or problems. The chief residents then "pimps" the first (and sometimes second years) on medical trivia. So far... I realize I don't know much--or really, anything. My co-residents seem to have more a handle on what to know. I am starting to put the pieces together, but usually not in time to answer my questions correctly. Bummer.
8:00 am-5:00 pm Otolaryngology Basic Science Course. Right now we spend all day in lectures and then in the gross anatomy lab doing dissections. If we get done early (we always do), we return to the clinic to help out or try to learn the new and very confusing computer system.
5:00-8:00 pm (3 times per week) we meet for a history and physical exam class taught by the internal medicine chiefs. Being a dentist in a hospital is a bit intimidating. They are trying to get us caught up on basical medical knowledge and skills we need to navigate through our patient care.
If I am lucky, I get to go home at this point. I then have some major studying to do for the basic science course (test on Friday--we have been informed that the OS residents always do the best on the test. I feel pressure to do well since I am still trying to prove myself, but also have so little time!) as well as hundreds of pages of readings for the H&P class, not to mention trying to study random subjects to prepare for rounds. This has been the hard part to get done.
If I am not-so-lucky, I am on call from 8am-8am. I was on call last Friday night and slept less than 45 minutes (with interruption). Monday night I was also on-call. While I did not get any calls, I was up until past 1:30 am in a surgery (don't worry, no fainting spells this time). The surgery was very cool, a guy who smashed his face. I wont gross you out with the gory details, but he now has 115 screws in his face and who knows how many plates! Wow! I was back on my feet at 5:30 am to get ready for rounds.
Since we are dentists, we are not under the medical association's accreditation. This means that while most residents are required to go home after a 30 hour shift and can log no more than 80 hours per week, we are not subject to such rules.
So...I spent about 38 hours in the hospital on Monday and Tuesday and will log a grand total of about 93 hours this week. Everyday is like an interview for me if I decide to reapply to the residency, so I hope I can keep it up. I am doing surprisingly well physically/emotionally/mentally considering how tired and busy I am and trying not to feel discouraged about how little I know. I am excited to start seeing patients next month and really start learning.
Phew! Only 355 days to go.