Half way through my second year!

I sit here in front of the fireplace this morning. Kiddo has been dropped off at school, I have a couple of hours before I go in to make a home-call visit and then ER shift later this evening (5pm – midnight).

Many months have gone by without an update.

Enjoying quiet mornings.

LIFE

I miss spending time with my little one. I miss spending time with my husband and my family without always having to be stressed out about work or exams.

I contracted COVID in the New Year. Before and after Christmas I was in the hospital and working with COVID+ patients. On Jan 2nd, I stepped out of the shower and suddenly developed chills and felt fatigued. All I wanted to do that evening was lie on the couch and not get up. I developed a horrible headache and fever of almost 102. During that week off, my swab came back + for COVID. My husband and 2.5 year old had very minor symptoms (runny nose and a cough thankfully). After 10 days of staying at home – not resting BTW (as Moms with toddlers will understand), I went back to work not feeling fully refreshed/rested. Push through push through.

I look back and realize that most of the time I take “off” during my blocks are not vacation! They are sick days.

Our 2.5 year old co-sleeps with us (yes still). We have always slept in the same room since he was born (he had his own bassinet / crib when he was born). We moved around from Oshawa -> Kingston -> Toronto, in one bedroom apartments and we all slept together. Now we bought a house, he has his own bedroom but doesn’t want to sleep alone. Understandably. We tried to sleep train this past weekend but the crying breaks my heart. He starts by sleeping in his own room but by midnight comes and joins us. We are too tired at that point to try to take him back to his room again. I gotta say, on the rare days when I get to start work late, I do love waking up to his sweet face saying “Mama, it is morning time, wake up!” ❀

Latest TV shows or movies ? A few that I am working through but yet to finish on Amazon Prime and Netflix -> ER reruns, My Son, Modern Love, Love is Blind, Manchester by the Sea

Things I have completed recently -> Decoupled (loved this!), Love You to Death

RESIDENCY

I have signed up to help with IMG interviews this year. (Last year I helped out as well and loved it). Guys, I know how hard it is, how uncomfortable it can be but there is a reason why you got the interview. I look forward to meeting you virtually. Try not to be (too) nervous, we were ALL in this position at one time. We get it.

Here are some links I found online that may be helpful for your interview prep:

https://bemoacademicconsulting.com/blog/carms-interview-questions

My blog post – Overcoming Barriers as an IMG

I recently submitted my research poster for my research study “Understanding Pregnant Women’s Views on COVID-19 Vaccine”. Our resident research day is coming up in about two weeks time, I look forward to this.

There are many mornings I wake up at 6:00 am and have this anxiety overcome me, not wanting to go into work for some reason. It has been happening more frequently recently – as if the day is going to go horribly. I have learned to push it aside and just get ready and go to work. By the end of the day as I am driving back home I realize it was a pretty good day & I learned so much! I am not sure why I work myself up over nothing sometimes.

In the last few months I completed psychiatry and now almost 4 months of family medicine. These past 4 months of family medicine has consisted of clinic, obstetrics call, newborn assessments in the hospital, hospitalist, ER shifts and Long term care. I have also attended MAID (Medical Assistance In Dying) consults. Initially the wide variety of experience was good, I learned (am learning) a lot. Over time though, I realized that I don’t see myself having a future practice where I will be doing ER, hospitalist or MAID. Plus I definitely want manageable work hours with a family-life. I am moving to a new preceptor/clinic next week for two months – it will be more obs/women health/peds heavy.

So much (good) progress has been made. Knowledge-wise, time-management with note completion and visits with patients, coming up with the next steps after a patient complains of a symptom and/or reviewing a result. Sometimes I develop a “gut feeling” that something is just not right/I need to double check on something or a patient’s pain/complaints is not to be taken lightly. I have started to follow these feelings and they have been right for the most part.

We are forever learning and progressing forward in the field of medicine.

EXAM

I need the time to focus on studying for my CFPC examination in April. I signed up for The Review Course. Working on questions, studying with my study group. There is a Friday evening review session virtually that I look forward to attending in the next week or so. I am getting quite nervous about this exam. I feel I should be putting in more hours to study but really I need more than 24 hours in a day.

WORK

I will be graduating in August this year and I have to start thinking about jobs now. That’s another stressor. Not sure how to put together a proper CV, or how to even start applying for jobs. What kind of job or place am I looking for? Do I want to locum for a while before joining a clinic permanently? Part time vs full time? These will be my first JOB interviews after residency – will I ask the right questions? What do I ask? How many places do I apply for? How many places will actually call me for an interview and how many do I attend?

I have recruiters who are approaching me about jobs. I don’t feel ready yet. I think I will seriously start applying and attending interviews after my exam in April.

I feel I have so much more to say but I think I will end it here. I do apologize if my post came out as a complaint-filled post. I do feel burnt out and ready to graduate – but not just yet. If that makes sense? One of my best friends recently asked me, if I could do this (residency) all over again would I still apply? Without hesitation I said YES. This was my goal, this is why I went through med school. Now I have choices as to what I want to do after I graduate from residency – that’s what I am working towards next. Said that, I’ve come to realize priorities about what brings me happiness.

Medicine is not my life, it’s what I do. Being on-call and working 26 hour shifts is not glamourous. Working 13 days in a row is not healthy (both physically and mentally). In fact I have noticed that the more hours and days I continue to work without a break, it is counterproductive. There are some (many) things that have to change about residency-life and what attendings expect of their residents.

My priority is family, love and happiness.

Please feel free to message me with any questions. Good luck guys, you’ll do great. Stand up for yourself and ask for what you want & need. I am still learning how to do this.

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