Jul 2, 2013

Time flies when you have no time

So, as of yesterday morning, I'm a third year resident.  If I were a family medicine or IM resident or many varieties of emergency medicine resident, that would make this my last year.

Pathology residency, as I've explained, is four years, plus a relatively mandatory fellowship, but it means I'm in the last half.  There's an end on the horizon.  I get the little pay bump every year.  I'm now in senior ville.  I have a new office downstairs, that I share with two of my closest friends.  I start to feel a little more like a grown up.

It's been a little hit and miss lately.  I tackled my first month back in surgical pathology at the main hospital in over a year with quite a bit of trepidation.  For those taking note, any month of surgical pathology tends to have me tearful and bipolar by the end of that month, and coupling that with the hardest of the surgical pathology months, and being rusty, seemed like evidence for disaster.

I handled it.  We've been having an endless supply of administrative and staffing issues lately, which culminated at the end of last month.  Three weeks in, I have to say, I was grimly doing well.  Usually I go in with a "this time things will be different!!" attitude and melt down around day 9.  This time I held a really good pace until things exploded at the end, and even then, I got my cases done, researched them well, and only had one day where I was like "Seriously, no one f-ing talk to me.  I can get my work done today and I can do it well, but I cannot do that while being a nice human being, so you can pick one and then get out of my face".

One of my attendings, and I love him, is the warm fuzzy type, kids of his own, grandkids, but he's a "Smile" guy.

I can be smiley.  Which is surprising, I know.  I'm generally absolutely silly, and my conduct around is largely like my conduct online in that I make a ton of sarcastic jokes and say things that border on inappropriate and periodically dance around when a song I like comes on.  When I'm happy, I smile.

I'm also an only child.  If I'm not happy, I don't smile.  If I want to be alone, I don't smile.  I go to my room to cool off and deal with it myself.  Telling me to smile when I'm already irritable and pissed off is going to go poorly.  I can pretty much manage "dead face" when I'm that angry and irritated, and it's my way of telling you to please be elsewhere unless you have immediate business with me that needs handling.  If I were a rattlesnake, this is when you'd hear the rattle.

But otherwise, ever since I got my schedule at the beginning of last year, I thought "June is going to suck.  You know what you're going to be doing in June?  Nothing, that's what." so with that acceptance, the days I made it home by 8 PM or the weekends I was able to attend old roommate's wedding or awesome attending's wedding were good days.  And the weather has obliged my awful on call then surg path schedule by raining since February.

And now it's my summer.  And I'm a senior.  And tomorrow I fly out to somewhere in Texas that incidentally has rattlesnakes so I can spend the 4th of July with my mom.  And there's that.

I'm also dealing with the "grown up resident" stuff now.  I'm beginning to compile a list of fellowship institutions to which I plan to apply.  I'm working on multiple projects and papers.

Oh, speaking of the latter, I got another CAP abstract accepted so I get a free trip to Orlando and networking opportunities in October, so that's pretty groovy.  And speaking of *not* being mature, in September I get to go up to Ashville for something called "Brewgrass" which involves microbreweries and all day bluegrass music at a time of year that's gorgeous.  So things are going up.  Boyfriend and I are still holding strong, despite my periodically being a terrible person.

So July is an autopsy month, home again of cool stuff that I can't tell you.  I can say I'm now 8 autopsies away from our mandatory 50 though.  This is required for licensing.  And since I'm on my fourth month down there *and* on with one of my favorite people, it's honestly just fun, which probably sounds callous and mean, but there it is.  I like the staff, they're not having the issues we're dealing with upstairs, things are pretty relaxed and I know the score of how it runs so I feel confident *and* competent, a rare combo.  I'm used to the attendings down there enough to know when to joke with them, even if they're micromanaging my heart dissection.

That's the update.  I still advise here and there on going to the Caribbean, though my knowledge feels somewhat more dated, but keep in mind, people going through it, you come out on the other side, and then you deal with all residency stuff.  It's hard to picture doing anything else.