Has it really been 2+ years since the last time I wrote something on here? So much has happened since then. For one, COVID wasn’t a thing when I made my last post. It’s crazy how many things have changed since then. I suppose I should make an update on the last two years!
First, I’m almost a fourth-year medical student… sort of. I have completed THREE (3) years of medical school, but I won’t be considered an OMS IV until next year. Why you ask?
Well, because I reached my goal of being selected as one of the OPP Fellows at my school! I’m about to finish my first year of juggling rotations and fellowship. Let’s back up though and do a quick summary of first and second year.
Hard. Many tears were spilled and many sleepless nights were had. I thought it would be easy to start school with four-year-old twins and a four-month-old baby… I WAS WRONG. The twins were a breeze, but my baby was a challenge. He was a good baby, don’t get me wrong, but he would. not. sleep. He didn’t sleep through the night until a year old. First-year was all about surviving and having enough time with my family… until COVID hit during spring break. We went all online and we stayed away from everyone for a long time. We spent the summer with my parents and I, stupidly, kept up with Anki. If you’re a first-year, don’t do this. Enjoy your summer. It literally did nothing for me.
Arguably one of the worst years of my life. I was STRUGGLING. We had a lot more free time, but being in the middle of COVID, there wasn’t much we could do. My mental health tanked. I was juggling studying for classes, prepping for boards, and being present for my family. It was hard. I still don’t think I’m ready to unpack that whole year, especially during dedicated. Those were very dark times for me, but I’m glad I made it out. I also managed to pass my boards, so there’s that! We adopted a cute doggo that September, but he’s been missing for a month now, so I don’t want to talk about him. I’ve cried enough this month… I also applied, and got, my fellowship! This extends my med school graduation to 2024, but I have the privilege of learning more about OMM from our faculty, having my own clinic patients, and teaching the first and second years. A dream come true, honestly.
This leads us to now, the end of my (first) third year.
Wow, what a difference. I LOVE third year. Rotations are SO MUCH FUN. You get to help take care of patients and learn on the job. We have to rotate through FM, OBGYN, IM, Surg, Psych, and Peds as our core rotations. So far, I’ve done everything but my two IM blocks and one Surgery block. I think my best experience was with FM; it was all worker’s comp, but I had so much freedom to be a doctor. I saw a lot of patients on my own before my preceptor came in. He taught me how to suture wounds, do digital blocks, put in staples, and take them out… it was the best. He also let me use OMM on my patients. It was THE BEST and truly a great rotation to start third year with. It was also not great to start with because I have judged every single rotation by how it compared to it. Let me tell you, none of them have lived up to it. Not because they weren’t interesting, but because I didn’t have as much freedom to see patients or use OMM. It’s been kind of a bummer because I was so eager to learn but the past couple of rotations I’ve mostly shadowed. It was like being a pre-med over again, except they sometimes ask you questions or let you scrub into surgeries. I also think the hardest thing for me is knowing what my scope is as a medical student. I don’t think preceptors talk about this as much as they should. They sort of expect you to just know what to do, which I most certainly don’t. If you tell me to do something once, I will do it all the time, but I need to be told. I don’t want to just jump in and do things in case I’m not allowed to do them. I also struggle to ask to be involved more. It’s something I’m working on, and I think I’ve been getting better at it… unless your preceptor is a nice but very intimidating surgeon. I just wanted to be out of the way as much as possible. I go into more detail on my insta, so I’ll leave all of those adventures about rotations there. Otherwise, this post is going to be waaaay too long.
Another part of my third year is fellowship! The way it works at my school is that we take two years to complete fellowship and our core rotations. There are four of us selected per year, and we get paired up with one other fellow. I’m biased, but my junior co-fellow is amazing and has become one of my best friends. I really don’t think I would enjoy fellowship as much without her! We also get paired up with two senior fellows. My seniors are amazing and I have learned so much from them. Again, fellowship wouldn’t be nearly as wonderful without them! We have all clicked and worked really well together. I wouldn’t change it for anything.
So our first year we’re junior fellows and the second we’re senior fellows. There are always two juniors and two seniors fellows on service. We alternate between rotations and fellowship every three months, with the exception of summer. I’m on my last block (last MONTH!) of junior fellowship now. I’m about to become a senior fellow and I am not ready. One, because it means my senior fellows are leaving me and I’m going to miss them. Two, because it feels like we just started fellowship. This year has FLOWN by.
That was a very watered-down version of my last three years of school. I’m technically still a third-year until I finish all my core rotations, do an elective, and take my second set of boards, so I can’t upgrade to a fourth-year status yet. That’s all right with me, because I’m still nowhere ready to apply to residency. I’m still figuring out what I want to do with my life!
I might update this in the future, but it might not just be about my med school journey. There are other facets of my life I want to write about. I haven’t decided yet, but just wanted to put it out there. 🙂
Also, happy early anniversary to this blog! I started it before I had kids and it’s just amazing how much growth has happened since then. Maybe I’ll share a little bit about my life with my kids and how we juggle school and babies… I feel like there’s a lot I want to unpack regarding their births and how my experience has changed my outlook on medicine.