August 15th feels like forever ago. A part of me almost wants to pretend that it also feels like the blink of an eye. But, the reality is that these past two months have emotionally and physically felt long. Starting off on Rheum was such a blessing. I’m so so thankful for the gentle usher in to this new phase of life. Similarly, I’m so thankful for one month chunks of rotations to really allow myself to actually feel prepared and better understand the work I’m doing. After how exhausting and almost all-consuming this past month on inpatient has been, I’m beyond grateful for two weeks to rest, move slowly, recalibrate and reassess my priorities.
The best part of these past two months has been strengthening my willingness to ask for help and feedback often. I struggled so much with switching presentation formats between medical school and residency. It was frustrating for the one thing I was really good at to become something that I sucked so bad at. It wasn’t a sense of imposter syndrome, but more a desire to yell, “THIS ISN’T ME. I CAN DO BETTER THAN THIS. THE WHOLE SYSTEM HAS JUST BEEN FLIPPED ON ME.” I’m so proud of myself for asking for help early and often. It really took away any shame, fear, or guilt that I had about not knowing. I am here to learn and I’m so eager to learn. Hopefully that combined with a positive attitude will continue to serve me during these next three years.
The hardest part of these past two months has been the experience of being the face of a system. As an intern, I’m the first doctor that answers questions, that relays information, and shows up. Sometimes, I show up late, or without the answers someone wants to hear, or with no further clarification as to why we’re doing what we’re doing. That’s also a part of my learning curve. But, 99% of time, they’re not mad at me. And that 1% of the time that it might be me, I’m comfortable attributing it to my own learning curve. I’ve learned through the frustrating way that I might be the person who gets yelled at when people are mad at hospital systems, other doctors, life in general, etc. But I might be the person who it gets taken out on, and that is not mine to carry. It never had to be, but from now onwards, I can make space for someone else’s emotions which are so real and so valid, without taking them onto myself as my burden to carry. That is a frameshift that I look forward to.
I start a month in the NICU on Monday. I’m definitely terrified, but also excited. There was a magical feeling to getting into your rhythm on PHM. I hope to give myself grace and kindness as I begin anew once again.