I don't know what I was so worried about... I spent the greater part of July freaking out over a number of issues. I actually spent equal amounts of time at Target (stockpiling toilet paper) and the library (stockpiling nutrition facts into my brain.) Would I be prepared? (Yes.) Would I have time to still have a life? (Yes.) Would my classmates be cool? (Yes.) Would I be the oldest person in the class? (Well, yes... but I don't feel old most days.) I anxiously counted down the days.
And then I started. And I was blown away. Blown away by what an amazing, fantastic, fabulous place UCSF is. And how smart and passionate and skilled the staff is. And how welcoming everyone from the CEO down the the cashier in the cafeteria has been. I am both in awe and in good company with my classmates. In fact, if I had to sum up my internship experience thus far, the one word I would use would be "supportive."
Many of you have inquired about what it's like. Well, the days go from 8-5 but they just fly by because I am so into what I am learning. ... And my, how we are learning! It's simply amazing how you can earn a degree and still not know even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to clinical practice. I have loved being up on the floors and interacting with patients. I am currently on a 5 week clinical rotation of neurology, general surgery and obstetrics. I will continue with clinical practice for the next several months, but will switch up my services between transplant, cardiac,oncology and the like.
From the very beginning, we interns have been treated as equals and professionals. We follow patients from screening to discharge. We interact with them and their caregivers, we educate, we chart, we go to rounds, and we give nutritional recommendations to doctors and nurses. In addition to patient care, we have a few classes a week to learn the finer point of topics such as phamacology, specific diseases, or how to best read lab data. We read current research articles related to our particular service, and we also are responsible for case studies. It is a comprehensive and engaging curriculum. We carry clipboards, calculators and pens, wear nursing clogs and have pagers. In other words, we are very fancy and look very grown up. I fear I may look far more knowledgeable than I am at this point. But I totally look the part!
I am really looking forward to what promises to be a terrific year. Thanks as always to friends and family for being so supportive. Keep reading to hear about my next rotations...