Saturday, November 29, 2014

Week 2: Near proposals and mini break downs

Week two: check mark!

Week 2

It's almost frightening how quickly this getting up and spending all day in the hospital has become routine. It's at the point again that I don't even look at my watch unless I have to document a time or my stomach is growling so loudly that it might be time for lunch. I honestly enjoy being around my colleagues and it beats sitting at home and studying (almost exclusively what I do when I'm not in the hospital).

People often ask why I, as a woman, would want to work in urology. Most men say that they'd prefer a male urologist (which is totally legit because I also go to a female gynecologist). None the less, I think patients in the hospital care less and probably care more when selecting a urology practice to visit. The men I talk to usually say they would feel uncomfortable having a good looking female urologist treating them (that wasn't me complimenting myself, I'm just saying what they tell me).

Well let me tell you, being a woman in urology definitely provides situations my male colleagues probably don't experience with the same frequency. I had a patient this past week who seemed to be quite fond of me. He even said that if he was still my age and not married that he'd take me on a date that night......(what does one say to that when in the position of the doctor?).  He also was always happy to have me do kidney ultrasounds on him......"See Ms. Hasselhof, we are already getting to know each other a little bit better." My colleagues even offered to do the exams on him for me....but I'm a big girl and might as well navigate my way through these kinds of situations while I'm still only the little intern.

Another patient and his family were so lovely that I took care of most of the communication with them and ended up exchanging information which might be useful in the future for travel.

The residents and interns go out for a drink almost every week. For some reason it didn't happen last week but this week it did. The Christmas market opened up in town on Wednesday and we hit it up after work. Since the only female resident was on call, it was me and the boys. Accordingly, I kept up with them in regards to hot spiced wine on the market and beers at the Irish pub (nothing a liter of water before bed can't handle). They all didn't consume as much as I imagine they would've if they didn't have to work the next morning. I respect their sense of responsibility. (Besides, we were all getting up at 6 a.m. or earlier the next morning and we were all home by 11 p.m.)

View from above: Part of the Christmas Market

Time for best and worst!

Best Moment: A few things here and there. I successfully placed 3 of 4 peripheral lines on first try this week! I did an ultrasound on a duplex kidney (two kidneys on one side). I lead an admissions conversation and examination. I was promoted to ward doctor for Thursday afternoon since the resident who was ward doctor for the week had to leave for a training program (he had finished everything that needed to be done before he left and the patients were all taken care of so really, I didn't have to do anything.....but something could've happened).

Worst Moment: That was today and I'm not even in the hospital! I've been fairly stressed lately (what else is new). With work all day and studying all night and that being a repetitive cycle, I was getting absolutely nothing else done. My scores on answering questions for the USMLE were far from satisfactory.
The way the USMLE is set up is so different from the German Medical exam. In theory, they should be asking the same information but the format of the American one is way more complex, or at least its seems so because I'm not used to it yet. I wanted to schedule my appointment for the exam in 3 weeks on the 21st of Decemeber. To my shock, neither Berlin, Frankfurt nor Munich had any available appointments within my eligibility period (ending Dec. 31st). Amsterdam had two next week, Paris a week after that and London had one of the 24th and 31st of December. Great.
Traveling would be expensive, stressful and inconvenient. I also don't feel prepared what so ever after these last few days of working through questions. I technically thought I still had 3 weeks and with a lot of blood, sweat and tears I may have made it work a bit better. This test score is just so immensely important that I felt the pressure crushing down on me again. And I wasn't even able to make an appointment.
Long story short, I extended my eligibility period for another 3 months.
Although I was looking forward to this exam studying being done by Christmas, I don't feel confident enough (and its just not possible) taking the exam at the end of December.
After paying the changing fee I called my parents and had a mini break down over FaceTime. I'd be lying if I told you this was the first one of these sorts over the past years and I wouldn't be shocked if a few more med students out there have been through the same.
I know a lot of other people are under a lot of pressure in life too but I can only speak for myself and my situation. And I tell you that going into medicine puts a LOT of pressure on you to be good, know so much, study into the wee hours, lack sleep, deal with the immense responsibility, work, work, work....It's valid to ask why anyone would voluntarily take all the pressure upon themselves. In my case its passion. Everyone has their own motivation. But it can be really, really tough sometimes. After the conversation with my parents I was feeling better and am newly motivated to get this exam done right.

It was this foggy all day long O_O

This upcoming week, I plan to have my own patient from admission to discharge. I'll suggest treatment options and procedures and see just how right my thoughts are. I think this will be a very good learning experience because up until now, everyone else was calling the shots and I just stood by and observed.

Stay tuned next week to see just how successful I was.

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