I had heard of the difficulty of time management and maintaining a solid work/life balance from upperclassmen, but now that I am four weeks into third year, I am fully living that struggle!
My first rotation is surgery, which probably requires some of the most demanding hours out of all of our third year clerkships. For the past two weeks, I had to be at the hospital by 5:30 AM for pre-rounding with the fellows and residents on my team. That meant if I wanted to have a shot at 7 hours of sleep, I had to be in bed before 9:30 PM–I’m not even sure I had that sort of a bedtime in elementary school! After pre-rounding, morning conferences, rounding with the attending surgeons in the morning, participating in cases in the OR, interviewing new admits, and consulting patients during the day, we often have lectures in the evening and occasional call with the trauma surgery team at night.
Most nights, there isn’t much wiggle room for anything that isn’t related to school, and that has definitely forced me to stay more organized and prioritize what is most important to me. I almost always choose to spend an hour running and decompressing (a classmate told me she wished she had time to exercise, but honestly, I’d go crazy without it), and then spend the remaining time before I go to sleep reading about the next day’s cases or preparing for a presentation or assignment due later that week.
I have a feeling this challenge of not feeling like I have enough time to do everything I need to will continue to be a theme this year, through the rest of my training, and beyond, but I am confident I will figure it out with some trial and error and time.