“Go home, seriously,” my resident said. “Get some rest while you can.”
To most people who have been working the last 16 hours, this would be music to their ears. But for me, a bright eyed and bushy tailed 3rd year medical student, I was surprisingly unfazed. “Ok, maybe I’ll wait ten or fifteen minutes to see if any new admissions come in.”
“No,” she said laughing, “just leave!”
Third year, though hectic and unfamiliar, is a welcome change from the drudgery of Step 1 studying. I’m starting on OB/GYN, which is not the easiest rotation for a new student to be starting on. As my clerkship chair said, “It’s a little bit a medicine and a little bit of surgery, and you have experience in neither.”
Yet, my lack of ability to contribute to the team is matched by my naive eagerness to help. And to my surprise, the residents and nurses are mostly nice and willing to teach. They helped me while I fumbled around in the OR trying to scrub in, almost contaminating the C-section operation they were working on. They gave me patients to follow and write progress notes on, while double checking me all the way. And instead of ignoring me, they spent time teaching me maternal-fetal physiology and pathology, which I soaked up like a knowledge-less sponge.
As I lay in bed at 2 am after my first week of rotations, I decided that this wasn’t so bad. Of course, I’ll probably get less eager and more cynical as the year goes on. But for now, as a fresh faced student learning the ropes, I was inexplicably excited. I had been up since 6 am, and yet was still pumped with energy.
Moments later, I slept like a rock.