Saturday, July 02, 2005

first day of school

Yesterday, I finished my first day of Anesthesia residency. No one died, but mostly because I didn't have to touch any patients today. It was mostly a paperwork and detail-sorting day. We were handed out a lot of information. We got a bunch of books and toys. We watched a movie about SAYING NO TO DRUGS because it is a HAZARD OF THE PROFESSION and we should UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES MAINLINE FENTANYL even if we are a little curious because YOU COULD DIE. Great. Now I'm too scared to even touch the narcotics for fear that it'll somehow jump into my veins and turn me into a junkie. Also, we had to take some sort of "baseline knowledge" exam, which I'm sure proved that my baseline knowledge is zero. To leave plenty of room for improvement, right?

Also, I spent some more time with my new resident class. The biggest difference I could see right off between my old class and my new class is that it feels like my new class is all guys. At first I thought it was just a perception bias, like after I graduated from Wellesley and felt like my med school class was just packed with guys (even though the real breakdown was probably closer to 55/45 guys/gals) because I was so used to an chicks-only classroom environment . But in the case of my new class, it's true. Whereas my Peds class had 17 women and 3 guys in it, my Anesthesia class has I think 8 women and 18 guys. It's raining men.

So I met a bunch of new people. Everyone seems very pleasant and friendly and, like me, a little nervous about starting. We all asked each other the same few questions over and over again. "Where did you do your prelim year? Where are you from? Do you know what the hell we're supposed to be doing our first night on call?" (Some people were tapped to be on call their first night. They're probably relatively lucky because they'll probably be hand-held a little bit and then let out early. We're not exactly the most useful people in the department right now.) However, there was one question (aside from possibly "when are you due?") that I was asked most of all. And everyone asked it in kind of the same way.

"So, why'd you switch out of Peds?" (Knowing smile, figurative elbow in the ribs) "Couldn't take it anymore, could you?"

And while I understand what they're trying to say and even agree with them in certain respects, I can't help but to feel a little defensive for the tiny little Pediatrician that still lives inside of me. I mean, yes, let's face it, I'm very, very relieved to never have to fill out another school form or write another letter to the WIC office about how my patient needs a special kind of infant formula. But I still love Peds, and there are many things about it that I'm going to miss a lot. I'm glad that I switched departments and am excited about all the things I'm going to be doing and learning, but I'm not an out-of-sight-out-of-mind kind of girl. I have dual allegiances. I like my new department, but will cherish and defend my old department to the death.

Anyway, when my new co-residents all start having kids and are calling their Pediatricians at 2am, I'm sure they'll be glad that there is someone out there who can "take it." Even if it's not me anymore.

Currently reading: So Sandra Day O'Connor is retiring? We're doomed. At least when it was just Rehnquist, we were just faced with the prospect of replacing one conservative with another.

1 comment:

  1. Is it difficult to switch residencies? I am about to begin my third year of medical school and am fascinated by the switch. I was under the impression that once a residency is chosen, one is committed to completing it. Obviously, I was mistaken. How long into you Peds residency were you when you switched? Thank you for your time.