It’ll take some time to shake the feeling of being the “Intern” after twelve months with that role. One of my primary goals for intern year (first year) was to learn the fundamentals of real-world medical practice. If I had to choose a few from a long-list, some fundamentals would include: recognize life-threatening and other urgent but common conditions, treatment, and speaking to patients and families about their diseases, treatment, and prognosis.
It does feel good to officially be a PGY-2, or “senior” resident. Good and a little scary, to be honest. I’m sincerely looking forward to the challenges that’ll come with being a senior resident on wards teams, ICU, and all of my elective rotations this academic year. To help keep me focused on some of my top priorities, I’ve listed some areas I’d like to emphasize…
- Get going early this academic year, and aim to publish 2-3 different papers/works.
- Work with a variety of mentors to gain insight/exposure.
- Make decisions confidently, knowing that I’ve (hopefully) had time to pre-read on the disease process/treatment/prognosis.
Keep an open mind
- Continuously reassess my strengths and weaknesses; read & study daily whether that is UpToDate/MKSAP during spare time in the hospital and (for bonus study points) a few important sections daily at home.
- Allow each new elective rotation to shape my future practice of medicine and career choices (e.g. fellowship options).
- I do not know whether I want to end up in general medicine or sub-specialize just yet, but am leaning towards the latter. Although I know in my heart the areas within Internal Medicine I enjoy most – Cardiology, Gastroenterology, and Musculoskeletal systems – I must decide on my ultimate career path no later than September 2016.
- Sticking to a self-imposed deadline will allow my nearly daily struggle to decide on a possible fellowship path to come to a conclusion. If I end up going the fellowship route post-IM residency, I really intend on going straight from residency to fellowship to maintain formal education continuity.