The Next Step – Updates From 4th Year

Today’s inane images of the day:

I never get sick of the beautiful views from 40,000 feet up in the air… 

nor have I gotten sick of eating In-N-Out.
Post-Step 2 CS, we drove up to San Francisco for a vacation.
I was greeted most mornings by this view from the South Tower of Beaumont Hospital on my way to the Pediatrics Unit.
I wear my lanyard with pride.
During my first away rotation at the University of Michigan, I had the distinct pleasure of walking down this inspirational hallway of survivors and thrivers each morning.

Since my last update back in May, a couple of things have happened: I took Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS, completed my Pediatrics Sub-Internship at Beaumont Hospital and an away rotation at the University of Michigan in the Pediatric Immuno-Hematology program. Doesn’t that seem like so much stuff in just a few months?!

[By the way, if you were hanging on the edge of your seat about whether I passed Step 2 CK/CS – I did! Whew – two down, one more to go!]

Fourth year has already been the most incredible experience, ever. The way that our year is structured, we have 10 total months of rotations to complete [we graduate May 15th, so that shaves off 2 months from our schedule]. We have 4 months of required rotations, 3 months of elective rotations and 3 months that we can do whatever we want with. [Please note that this has changed for the Class of 2016 – in lieu of an elective rotation during the 3rd year, they now complete their Family Medicine and Ophthalmology requirements, which leaves only 3 months of required rotations during the 4th year, but allows for 4 months of electives.] Anyway, the way that I worked things out, I am doing 3 away rotations in the first half of the year, then an independent study [this allows for flexibility with interviewing], one dedicated month off for interviews, followed by 3 months of required clerkships. 1 of the 4 months of required rotations is a Sub-Internship, which I did in Pediatrics back in July. [I feel like this entire paragraph would have been much easier understood with a diagram: this one shows the Charter Class M4 Year, while this one shows the Class of 2016 and Beyond].

All in all, I’ve already had some incredible experiences during my clerkships. During my sub-internship, I was really able to take ownership of my patients from admission to discharge. Additionally, the pediatrics floor teams were on a new system where my colleague and I had the opportunity to also care for Hematology/Oncology patients – it was incredibly emotional but heartwarming to get to know our Heme/Onc patients as well as to see the great things Beaumont Children’s Hospital is doing. While I was at the University of Michigan, I had the opportunity to follow the Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant team on the inpatient and outpatient side, meet patients with primary immunodeficiency diseases [i.e. lots of Zebras – they’re out there!] and work with an adult multiple myeloma specialist. I had a mini-research project and am excited to present a poster at the 2015 Immuno-Hematology Symposium in the Spring. I also befriended a couple of the longer-term patients that I followed while I was on the clerkship and hope to feature their stories here on the blog in the Winter!

All in all, a very good start to the year. The only thing that has been weighing me down as of late is ERAS. As someone who likes to look at pretty things and design pretty things, it is painful to try to represent my career in a visually appealing manner when the system doesn’t even allow for line breaks! I’m hoping that things go smoothly on September 15th […wow that’s coming up fast!], but in the meantime, I’m just going to have to deal with this baseline level of anxiety surrounding the application process. On the bright side, thus far, the residency application process has felt significantly easier than the medical school application process. Wish me luck in the upcoming few months!

Any updates on your end? Can you believe we’ve made it this far?!

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