Monday, August 26, 2013

What It's Like to Be an Intern

I'm an Intern M.D. You could say I'm a doctor and it's technically true, but, like, barely.

I can only speak for myself, but the adjustment has been interesting. Here are some things that are true for me about being an intern:

1. When my alarm goes off in the morning, or evening, depending on my shift, I pretty much bury my head and think, "What if I just don't go?" And then I get up and go to work because I'm a frickin' responsible doctor now. Or because I sleepwalk. I'm not really sure.

2. When I walk into a patient room and say, "I'm Dr. C___ , nice to meet you," I get about a 30% return of some variation on "Girl you too young to be a doctor." But everybody suspends their disbelief and tells me about their children's diarrhea anyway.

3. This is accurate:

4. My whole year's salary is a very small percentage of my debt. I don't like to think about it.

5. Now that I've graduated people ask me medical questions to which I mostly don't know the answers. Mostly pretty normal things. Sometimes I find out things I don't want to know. I chose to treat children for a reason. #veryfewhemorrhoids

6. Patients are cute. Parents are mostly crazy. One girl got a rash every time she ate eggs. I asked if Mom stopped giving her eggs. 
"Oh no, she loves them."
Well, if she loves them.

8. Those more senior than me are also kind of crazy, in a good way. Here's some recent important advice I received: "This is a small town. Be careful how drunk you get in public."

9. I used to exercise. Now I run from room to room and pretend moving a stethoscope around is calisthenics. One time I picked up a pen. It was a lot like a squat with a weighted row right?

10. I also used to sleep. Now I slip into full coma the second I lie down. Note to husband: carry me out if the house catches fire.

11. There's all kinds of crazy breaking out happening on my face, and I'm not alone - some of my co-interns are also erupting. Nothing like acne to make you trust your doctor.

12. Scrubs are proportioned by crazy triangle people. The top is too big, the legs are too short and I manage to look drowned and dumpy at the same time.

13. There is an expectation (and realistically, a requirement if I want to pass Boards) that I be studying and reading in my time outside work but I just want to be straight with you, the end of the day looks a lot like this:
Is it the dream? Of course. This was actually a hard post to write because really, the work/life balance is a huge challenge but ultimately I'm loving my life.

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