After going through this first week of third-year orientation (or as we like to call it here at Wake, Third-Year Boot Camp), it’s evident that this next year of my life is going to be VERY different from what I’ve been used to thus far. I mean, of course I knew I was going to be entering a new dimension of learning and all…but the closer I get to the start of my third year of medical school, the more I’ve begun to notice this uneasy feeling of uncertainty that has been creeping up in me for some time.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m actually really excited about beginning to do what I’ll be pretty much doing for the rest of my life. But with this excitement comes a degree of uneasiness due to the fact that my whole life schedule is about to be completely, and permanently, flipped over. I’ve been learning in a classroom environment for the past twenty years, so it’s pretty much all I know when it comes to school and the learning environment in general. I’ve grown extremely comfortable with this type of environment, even if it can get ridiculously old sometimes. Unlike the majority of my classmates, I don’t have the luxury of understanding what a true full-time job entails, which is what I’m essentially going to be doing from here on out…except I’ll still have to miraculously find the time to study for my shelf exams that I’ll have to take at the end of each rotation. And I sure as hell won’t be getting paid for this “job” for the next two years.
Another part of my uneasiness stems from the realization that I will no longer have as flexible of a schedule as I’ve grown accustomed to ever since I first started college. I will now have a structured schedule that I will be required to stick to and I’ll have to learn how to successfully work with it while continuing to do the necessary things that I love to do in the substantially decreased free time that I’ll have to make for myself. And not only will this regimented schedule be almost inflexible within each rotation; it will be continuously changing as I cycle through different rotations. It’s going to be a HUGE shift in my life, and I honestly don’t know if I’m entirely ready for it. But I guess it’s all just a part of growing up. Plus, there are countless people in the world working in jobs with structured schedules…so I actually can’t really be complaining. However, this boot camp that I’m currently in has really been instrumental in mentally preparing me for this dramatic shift in my lifestyle. Also, it gives me comfort to know that MANY other people have gone through this rite of passage, and that others are traveling along this same journey as we speak. So with that said, I’ll be alright!
I’m happy to say that my experience in this third-year boot camp has been quite fantastic so far! We’ve had a good amount of sessions in this first week, and we’ll have even more to learn from this upcoming week as well. I won’t go into a huge amount of detail about my sessions so far, but I’ll go ahead and tell you that in this past week I’ve been able to:
- Practice putting in a Foley catheter and a peripheral IV
- Practice drawing blood from a dummy as well as a classmate, who insisted that I practiced on him! (It was my first time drawing blood from a real person and I won’t lie…I got a bit of a rush from doing it 😂)
- Practice putting in an OPA (oropharyngeal airway) & an NPA (nasopharyngeal airway)
- Practice applying a bag-valve-mask on a dummy patient
- Listen to lectures about women’s health, intimate partner violence, radiology, email etiquette, the relationship between social media and healthcare, and the Doctor-Patient Relationship and how just simply being there for the patient is sometimes more important than trying to do something
- Witness an interesting discussion about abortion ethics between two doctors with opposing views about abortion
- Listen to what the panel of third-year clerkship (clinical rotation) directors had to say about life as a third-year medical student in each of their respective clerkships (Coffee is really about to become my ride-or-die.)
- Become certified in initiating Basic Life Support/CPR after a morning of training and an examination
- Take a tour of the surgery unit and become oriented in how the Operating Room works
- Practice scrubbing in and changing into surgery gear
- Meet Dr. Bryant Cameron Webb and unintentionally crash his scheduled dinner with a few other physicians
- Take updated photos for my clerkship years
- Participate in an interactive and eye-opening simulation focused on Health Equities and the lives that patients from various backgrounds may live outside of the clinic
- Go apartment hunting, chill with friends and look for resources necessary for success in my clerkship years
Needless to say, it’s been quite a busy week. But I’ve also had a good amount of free time that I’ve been able to adequately enjoy! Gotta make the most of it all before I begin rotations in a couple of weeks!
And as for you, be sure to have a marvelous week!
“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining what we are.” – Max DePree
P.S. – I think I’m receiving my Step 1 score this week…….