And just like that, I’ve finished my first month of intern year, and all I have to say is what a month! That may be an understatement. Obviously, there’s feelings of fear, anxiety, but also excitement! A career in medicine, as a physician, is truly a calling. I went into medicine to help people, and now, I’ll finally have my chance to do so.
I started on Psychiatry Emergency Services. Per upper-level residents and even attending physicians, it is probably the hardest Psychiatry rotation to complete let alone begin on. I was terrified. How was I going to survive as an intern on this service? I felt like I knew nothing. How was I going to learn how to diagnose a patient or determine if they need to be admitted? I’m the gatekeeper for the psychiatric inpatient floors in our hospital. And to top it all off, I’m the only psychiatric resident left in the entire hospital after 4:30 PM. Not daunting at all…said no one ever.
And to top it all off, the pandemic has only added another layer. I argue that it’s made the hospital much busier. Lack of beds, the survival of the fittest with PPE, and remaining as cautious as possible all while trying to provide the highest and safest quality of care to your patients. Yep, this is what I was walking into. This was the beginning of my intern year—12-hour shifts from 8 AM to 8 PM Monday through Friday that almost always ended later than 8 PM. However, I survived. I did it!
I want to thank my upper-level PGY-2 resident who was my buddy for the first two weeks. He was patient; he was kind. He watched me cry and provided me encouragement. He taught me how to survive my first month. He taught me how to excel this month. He taught me how to provide the highest quality of care while being efficient so I wouldn’t drown. Special thanks to all of the upper-level residents in my program who chose to invest in me and be there for me! They were always there to help and answer my calls/texts of panic of what to do even after hours. I am one lucky human. Stay tuned for part two to keep reading about some of my most memorable experiences.