Monday, April 16, 2018

Half way?!

In my last post,
Jason was four weeks from taking Step 1.
It was a long road to that exam,
but we survived and Jason did great!!
The anxiety leading up to the exam,
and then to finding out his score was intense!
After his exam,
he had to wait 3 weeks to get his score back.
We knew the email would come at 8 a.m.,
and I knew I wanted to be with him when he checked his score,
or at least be able to see his face via Face Time.
But on the day that his score was supposed to come in,
he had to be in a simulation class at 8 a.m.
They are in small groups,
practicing procedures on the simulation dummies,
and it would have been noticeable if he was either late,
or video chatting.
He had a half day that day,
and selflessly said he would wait until he got home to look at his score with me.
-1 p.m. it is!

I couldn't wait.
At 7:59 I logged into his portal and looked at his score.
And then I cried.
I was so relieved, happy, excited, grateful, humble.
I knew I wanted to surprise him in some way,
so I bought some balloons,
butcher paper,
and some paint,
and me and the girls made him a giant banner with his score on it.
I recorded his reaction.
It was pretty great.
I felt a little bad for asking him to wait to look at his score,
and then I felt a little bad that I looked without him,
but it was totally worth it.
And he even said,
it was way better than finding out at school via his phone.
Wouldn't you agree?


Now that it's over {finally!},
and he's also done with his last block of his 2nd year,
(which was a dream by the way-
there were no tests during this block,
which meant no studying,
which meant lots of family time,
which meant happy mom),
we are officially half way done!!

Today is his first day of third year.
Third year marks the start of clinical rotations.
He will do 6 'core' rotations this year,
the same 6 that every other third year medical student in the country will also do.

Internal Medicine (12 weeks)
Pediatrics (6 weeks)
Family Medicine (6 weeks)
Surgery (12 weeks)
OB/GYN (6 weeks)
Psychiatric (6 weeks)

He will be at different hospitals and locations for each rotation,
and even multiple ones during the longer ones.
For internal medicine for example,
he starts at Maricopa Medical Center in inpatient,
then he will be in Show Low for a month,
and then finishes at St. Joes in outpatient.

For his surgery clerkship, 
he was able to choose some electives,
to gain some exposure to other fields of surgery,
and to break up the long rotation. 
He will be doing urology, plastic surgery, and trauma,
in addition to the required general surgery.
The electives are 2-4 weeks long each.

Rotations are a way for students to get an introduction into different areas of medicine,
so that by 4th year, they can hopefully narrow down what kind of doctor they want to be.
In 4th year, 
he will have to do an emergency medicine and neurology rotation,
but then the rest of his time will be spent taking elective rotations,
and apply and interviewing for residencies.

I have heard mixed things about MS3.
Some say it was the hardest year,
some say it wasn't so bad.
This is where the hours get long,
and the students are exhausted.
But this is also where they are putting to practice everything they've learned 
the last two years.
The patients are real,
they have actual problems,
and they will play a role in their care-
which is completely more fulfilling than cramming knowledge into their brains at 12 a.m.
Some 'real world' application to all those long nights of studying.

He will be gone for 4 weeks while he's in Show Low.
Which will be during summer.
Which will be when my kids are out of school.
Which means...

But we will survive.
I remember his long weeks on call with DeWitt Equipment-
especially during the summer.
And it was all okay.
It was always okay.
And if one rotation feels hard and long,
the next one usually isn't as intense-
so hopefully,
with some luck,
I'll make it through summer with some dignity,
and maybe even a few shreds of sanity remaining.

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