On Friday I finished my last requirement for my 3rd year clinicals. Monday morning, I began a new service. This time, no orientation, no didactics, and in particular, no shelf exam to study for. I started my sub-I, the first block of my fourth year of medical school.
Unlike the beginning of 1st, 2nd or even 3rd year, there was no hard start to 4th year. And outside of beginning residency, hard transitions between years are less and less. You are simply expected to jump into the team. You become less of a passive participant and more of an active learner in your career.
While the transition to 4th year is more abrupt, the work feels more purposeful. Even calling myself a sub-I, I feel more empowered to make decisions for patients. The team is more receptive to my assessment and plan; they know I want to be there. By the end of the first day, I took on more work than I had in the first week of 3rd year rotations.
From now on, the last chapter of my medical school career is going to be devoted to my career., which is exciting because, for the first time, I get a say in the “courses” I take. I’m excited for what day 2 has in store.