Thursday, January 16, 2014

on the home stretch of Residency

So it has been some time since I last posted. That is because being a 3rd year Medicine Resident is not like being a 4th year medical student where you just want to get what you need done and then shut off.

On the contrary, there is a lot of work that still needs to be done. For starters, I find that the attendings are much more critical of what you are doing. This is because as a senior resident, you have seen enough and have done enough that the bar is set high for you. There are 2nd year residents, interns, and students who are looking to you for answers. And you are being looked at as a leader. Not to mention, if you are trying to get into a fellowship then you have to go through the whole process of applications again and the dreaded personal statement. Now the question is not just why do you want to go into medicine, but why do you want to subspecialize in THIS type of medicine. Then there is the pressure of preparing your CV in the event that you do not match in the specialty of your choice and start looking for a job. Certainly this is much easier for me as I do not have to worry about getting a visa to work in this country, unlike many of my fellow residents.

Did I mention that you also have to start looking to getting your medical license, which is not cheap. And decide if you want to get your DEA license, which is also not very cheap.

All in all, I had applied to 3 programs in South Jersey for Critical Care fellowship. I received 2 interview invites. One was at an established tertiary care facility/trauma center and the other I would be part of their first batch of fellows. While playing the waiting game, I prepared my CV and started the application process for my NJ medical license. Another way that NJ likes to take your money. Well, I received an offer to join the new program in South Jersey. I will be a member of the inaugural class of fellows. How many people can say that they were helping build a program?

I just completed my ICU month, and as a resident who is going into critical care, I felt as if I was being really looked upon. I was able to lead the team. I also became certified in performing lumbar punctures and I am one more line from becoming certified in performing subclavian central lines. This was a very difficult month as we had 2 full units, a total of about 19 patients and 4-6 more in the ED and all were very, very sick.

What is really interesting is that if I did not get into my fellowship then I would have gone into primary care. And when I did get the fellowship, 2 attending physicians had told me that while they are glad that I am following my dream they cannot help but feel that the field of primary care had lost a very good doctor.

I just have to hunker down and prep for boards and really read. Hopefully I will post a little more often, though I cannot promise.


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