Busy and Surreal

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind and pretty crazy. I had to really buckle down at the end of the quarter. I had two in class finals, a few take home finals, and a paper due. My two in class finals were on the same day because I opted to take the emergency medicine final early in order to have more time between the end of the quarter and clinics starting. The whole week before finals was so surreal, because it was my last week ever (EVER) to sit in classes. And then suddenly it was my last DAY of coursework ever. Then I was sitting there, having turned in all of my take home finals and my paper, taking my last. Final exam. Ever!! It was so surreal… I’d been working toward that moment for almost 30 years (minus the few years I took away from school doing nothing). It felt pretty amazing. :) I’m done with formal coursework!

Scott flew in the night of my last final exams so that we could spend some time together before the craziness of clinics started. We spend one day driving to Tahoe and hiking an intense 9 miles and then camping with a couple of friends. Hiking all day followed my campfire burgers, veggies, and s’mores is like my idea of complete heaven! :) We hiked around a bit the next day and then drove back to Sacramento (our friends camped in Tahoe the entire week – jealous!). We mostly spent the rest of his time here just hanging out, going to the movies, and relaxing. It was really great visit and I, of course, cried when he had to get back on a plane to L.A. It’s been three years and it’s still incredibly hard when he leaves.

And then… all of a sudden… it was time for clinics to start!!! AAaahhh! My first rotation is anesthesia, and I’ve officially completed my first of two weeks. :) I actually really like anesthesia, so I was nervous but looking forward to it. And it’s been great!! The technicians and doctors are fabulous – so nice and accommodating. And they don’t make me feel like a complete idiot when I don’t know the answer to something, haha. We get assigned a case each afternoon/evening and we work it up from start to finish – go do a physical exam, interpret the blood work, and design an anesthetic plan that includes pre-medication, induction, support, monitoring, and maintenance, and post-operative analgesia. We then present the case and our plan to a faculty member and discuss it and get it approved. We also have rounds three mornings a week, and I have to say that I have learned (I guess re-learned, since theoretically I’ve learned this all before) SO MUCH!! It sticks so much better when you’re DOING rather than reading, studying, and regurgitating on an exam. So far I’m really enjoying clinics. I think that’s because I like anesthesia and it’s a great rotation. And even though I’m at the hospital about 12-14 hours a day, I don’t have any inpatients and don’t have to write any records! :D But there are on-call shifts: I was on call last night and was called in at 2:30am and didn’t get home until 8am. But I didn’t mind and learned a lot from the case. Plus, I was able to come home and pass out for several more hours :)

I’m sure there will be really rough times, and rotations that are brutal and soul crushing. But I’m doing my best to focus on the positive, and I’m loving my current rotation. :)

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