Thursday, August 23, 2007

To sleep, perchance to, well, sleep

Today was my last clinical day of surgery; tomorrow is the surgery shelf exam. My feelings can be summarized by combining the traditional "zzzzzzzzzzz", indicating sleep or sleepiness, and the "ARRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH" of fear/frustration, thusly forming the new compound expression:
zzzzzzzARRRGGGGGHHHHHHzzzzzzzzzz,
which is the rallying cry of 3rd year surgery clerkship students everywhere.

I was on call last night, and after two solid weeks of madness it really took a toll. I was able to leave the hospital early today but have found that I'm not doing very well with the last-minute studying. But I'm looking on the bright side: I'm too exhausted to panic.

I'm pretty sure I will be able to pass the shelf and therefore the rotation (knock on a forest full of wood). Unfortunately, though it is uncool to acknowledge that you are "gunning" for honors, these things do matter, especially if you are strongly considering a very competitive subspeciality, which I am. So, passing is not really enough. I'm trying to give myself a break since this is my first rotation back and I have, by careful calculation, ZERO knowledge of minor things such as, I dunno, ANY DRUGS AT ALL, but I can't allow myself to be complacent about being behind my classmates. I'm trying hard, but right now I'm not sure it is enough.

Also, much to my chagrin, I've found that osmosis learning does NOT occur after falling asleep on your book, which I have done more in the past few weeks than in the entirety of my life up until now. In addition, I have found that I've become stupider as the rotation wears on. I'm not sure if this is due to the previous "topping off" phenomenon I wrote about before, or the exhaustion, or hearing slightly different versions of "the next appropriate step of management" from three different books and ten different people, but it is definitely true.

In any case this will be over, for better or for worse, tomorrow before noon. I move on to family medicine next which will be AWESOME in terms of hours (closer to 9 to 5 than the 5 to 9 of surgery) but is a continuation of the brain-stuffing I've been attempting with mixed results. I am going to try to get caught up on my drugs (learning, not taking) and general medical knowledge, but also on remembing what my husband looks like. I miss him, a lot. Also I miss fun, and sleeping. And my dogs. And sleeping.

I am going to sign out before this becomes any more rambling... not surprising given that I wrote it more to have something to do other than study and not so much because I have something specific or interesting to say. My positive thought for the post is easy: tomorrow I'm done with surgery, considered by most to be the most difficult rotation of 3rd year. What have I learned?
1. Waking up any time after 5am is "sleeping in".
2. Caffeine can be your best friend, but use her wisely; she is a bitch-goddess who does not take either abandonment or abuse lightly.
3. Surgeons are crazy.
4. Papillary is the most common type of thyroid cancer.
5. I can't remember the fifth thing, 'cause my brain is full.

Okay, that's all for now. In closing, always rememzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

1 comment:

docmama said...

yeah.
surgeons - f*@king nuts.
and the moodiest people on the planet.
and i've only survived 2 out of 8 weeks so far.
urgh.