I started two weeks of orientation activities the next day after we arrived in Sacramento following our wedding. So we got married on Saturday, flew to Sacramento on Sunday night, and orientation started on Monday. Those were three jam-packed days!
Orientation started off with a session about the rules and general policies surrounding residency at UC Davis. It was a blessedly short session which was great since I had so many things to do to make the apartment ready – unpacking, cleaning, assembling furniture, grocery shopping, everything! The second day of orientation featured a team building session with the new chief residents at a nearby lake. We had blindfolded pairs kayaking races and contests with canoes and it was all great fun. It was a low key way to interact with my new co-interns and get to know the chief residents too.
Orientation wasn’t all fun and games. There were plenty of sessions that were dull and difficult, too. Chief among the long and challenging sessions were the ones about the electronic medical record (EMR). Obviously learning how to use the EMR is hugely important, but we spent more than ten hours in the classroom learning about it! Admittedly, those 10+ hours were over a couple of days but I think that it is difficult to master a complex computer environment without really diving in and trying out all the features yourself in real life. Even after all those hours of instruction, when I am actually in the clinic now I still have no idea how to use and master so many features of the EMR. It is such a powerful tool and I’m amazed at how effortlessly the more senior residents seem to navigate it and harness its power.
One of the perks of orientation was all the free food! There were breakfasts and lunches and dinners and snacks and I loved all of it! Free food is one of my favorite things and it seems that there are people in my residency program who share that sentiment! I look forward to more free food opportunities over the next three years.
Finally, as orientation wound down, everyone’s nerves started to kick in about the impending responsibilities of intern year. Fortunately, we had a morning arranged to shadow the intern who was just finishing up the rotation we are about to start. It was helpful to meet the team of attendings and hospital staff in a more relaxed way before actually starting to participate in real patient care.
Two weeks of orientation absolutely flew by. Even after the relatively ample amount of free time I had during those two weeks, there is still so much to do to make our apartment truly a home and there are always a million items and chores left on my to-do list. But the time has come to start intern year…here we go.