Saturday, October 15, 2011

4 Months In - Family Medicine Residnecy

(Summit of Cameron Peak, forteener 9-19-2011)

Hey family and friends,

Thanks for joining me in a brief recount of my new adventures. By this time in October I am well into the intern year of residency training and really feel like a doctor, a feeling that I have been looking forward to for so long and, probably appropriately, never grasped during medical school. The responsibility of patient medical care, the investment in each unique life encountered, the decisions that must be made, the strong work put in every day that makes a man satisfied…. Ah yes, residency is great. Patrick, Jonathan and I are hanging out at Panera Bread near the house this morning, just chatting, talking about our troubles, whether work or personal, and our joys. These are my room mates my fellow interns and I love these guys. Patrick made the comment, “We got paid yesterday; it feels so good!” And it’s true, paychecks are amazing, and we all agree that we aren’t anxious at all about getting paid, we love what we do and getting a paycheck every other week is almost a surprise, icing on the cake. Of course, when loan repayment begins in December we won’t see much of it anyways.

( A few of the interns and I on top a 12,500')

Residency is structured somewhat like medical school, we have a schedule of 12 months and each is filled by a rotation in a different field of medicine that will prepare us for practice on our own. This first year my schedule includes:

3 hospital based medicine months


2 hospital based pediatric

2 hospital based obstetric


2 weeks of behavioral science and Ear Nose Throat


Sports Medicine

Basically, this schedule means that I’ll be on 8 “service months”, otherwise known as months when we get to the hospital early and leave late, 6 days a week. 7 of those months require a “night float” or a week long period where each resident takes turns admitting sick people into the hospital during the night. I will be starting my second night float week today at 5pm and I’m excited about it. Although the physical changes are demanding, the more work and experience I can have in residency the better. The other months are a bit more relaxed, like geriatrics and sports medicine, which are clinic based.

(I have eaten 3 of these peppers to date and looking forward to more)


In the last post I shared about an assortment of plants a grocery store allowed me to take free, as they were nearly dead. OK, update on the garden. The plants are actually doing very well. The most beautiful among them are the Green Bell Peppers which did not flower in the heat of summer but are growing myriads of little peppers into big ones. While visiting my Aunt in Denver, she let me dig up a bit of her garden to transplant in Wichita. Unfortunately the chicks and diks are not doing so well. I think they need more sun, but the others seem to be steadily growing. Also, one of my neighbors works at the botanic garden here in Wichita. He is bringing home extra plants all the time, so I dug under a patch of tulip bulbs a few weeks ago. They will be such a surprise by spring!


On my street the yards are too small to exercise any meaningful play, so one must utilize the street. I have played enough football for a lifetime these last 4 months. Incredible, I have historically enjoyed Frisbee or basketball type sports, but when the neighbor kids ring the doorbell every day to get us out and playing, it just happens. Last month we had a Labor Day cookout and yesterday was pumpkin carving. The strange thing is, although I always see the kids, their parents have more of a hibernating bear attitude, stay inside. I am hoping for more relational depth in my neighborhood.

( My residency program went on our annual bike trip in September which also included climbing a few forteeners :), we biked from Frisco to Vail and back. Amazingly fun yet tiring vacation under the guise of continuing medical eduction)

(One of my attending docs asked me to play at a coffee shop open mic. This was the first set of this kind I've played, lasted ~1hr, banjo/guitar. Fun times, might do it again. Might need a shirt with sweat pads in the armpits next time too.)