Last week I headed back to the world of medicine. The time off passed quickly, especially with packing and moving to a new place in the spring. Was great to be home and spend time with my family. This summer we have enjoyed a few family trips and had some visitors. I may do a longer review at some point of my pat leave, but put simply I’m glad I had the opportunity to spend the time at home.
The first week back was a lot to take in. My home clinic was happy to see me, nice to catch up with the staff. I’m a bit rusty and slow seeing patients, in part because the EMR there was updated recently. On top of that I’m starting my first hospital based rotation and learning their EMR and they way they like things done. Got through the first week and even had a few kind comments from patients.
“After breakfast, we all get dressed, I pack my daughter’s lunch, and the three of us suit up for the trek to the bus stop. March 2 marks one year since CaRMS Match Day, and rather than being on call or spending time in clinic, I’m on paternity leave.”
A reflection on the year since Match Day, priorities, and the decision to take pat leave. LINK
Part of the in-House s/p The Match series of reflections looking back on the year since Match Day.
“Come Match Day there will be many cheers and tears of joy, there will also be private anger and disappointment. This is a stressful time in the lives of medical trainees. Should so much joy and sorrow hang on the pursuit of a specialty?”
A reflection on specialty choice, our privilege to study medicine, and fulfillment drawing on The Way of Chuang Tzu. On The Muse Magazine’s blog: LINK
Balancing my family life and medical training have been challenging the last few years, especially during clinical rotations. We welcomed our third child as I started residency and this fall I began looking into taking parental leave. The more I thought about it the more it made sense. When I first brought it up those in medicine I expected resistance, instead I found strong support from my program, preceptor, and mentors. Everything is set up, all the paperwork submitted, as of today I’m taking 6 months of leave to enjoy with my family.
Thanks everyone that reads the blog and follows on Twitter.
In early October I attended my first conference as a resident. While most of my peers are planning on attending FMF or other Family Medicine related conferences in the future I chose to use my funding to attend The Examined Life Conference at the University of Iowa from October 6-8. The program was impressive (link) and it was a great experience. I was also impressed with how well run the conference was, staying on schedule and not a single AV issue in the talks I attended.
I enjoyed hearing about the work others are doing in combining the arts and medicine. I attended workshops, lectures on educational efforts, readings and more. Many of the presentations led to insightful discussions that continued into coffee breaks. It was a great place to connect with other interested in the humanities and discuss ideas. I won’t review the whole conference, just a few highlights.
Phil Dwyer – Artful Grief
The first lecture I attended was by Phil. He spoke of his recently published book Conversations On Dying and blog that collected reflections about the death of loved ones. His book recounts the death of his brother along with a series of interviews with Dr. Larry Labrach (a palliative care physician in Toronto), contrasting their end of life experiences. It was a moving presentation and also presented some data collected about writing about loss. I also sat with him on the flight back to Canada, and we had a good conversation.
2. Ken Browne – Why Doctors Write
Ken presented a 20 minute cut of his unfinished documentary Why Doctors Write at the conference. It was very well received. It was divided into chapters including one of Dr. Danielle Ofri and her patient Jaun, arts in medical education, Internist and poet Dr. Rafael Campo, etc. A strong message and nicely shot. Ken was approachable and we had a great talk about medicine and the arts. I look forward to the film.
A lot of great conversations at the conference. At some of the workshops we shared work in small groups and it was wonderful to see what people came up with in 7 minutes following a prompt. I had a great chat and dinner with a PA and rural Family Doc from the conference and have enjoyed email correspondence with a number of attendees since the conference. The host also put together an app for the conference that made it easy to post to social media, share updates and connect.
Being that this is Aboot Medicine, two of the attendees had air casts on… talk a boot medicine (thanks Rita and Marjorie)
With CaRMS closing soon for CMGs I wanted to wish everyone luck. A few friends from the year below me have asked for some help editing and this reminded me of all the stresses of the application process. A few small things:
Make sure to attach all the documents each school wants. Some want up to 3 reference letters, some accept more. Little details matter, spend the time to upload everything required
Address the prompts for the personal statement
Some schools have different CV requirements, be aware
Attach a nice picture to your application. I took mine infront of a wooden door in a hotel during an elective
Make sure the picture is of you, not a meme
Have a friend or two read over your letters
Interested, but boring was the advice I was given. Don’t try to scare your reader
Soon it will be submitted, the interview invites will hopefully roll in and the next stage will begin.
My classmates moved on to residency at the beginning of July while I delayed my start to welcome a new addition to the family. Still three weeks until I start, feeling a bit anxious and know I’ll be rusty going back , but it will be alright (I haven’t been in clinic since November). With the waiting and driving I have enjoyed some reading after graduating in May and moving to a new city. I’ve mentioned my love of reading previously (1, 2) and with a baby not wanting to sleep an audiobook can help pass time in the night.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Gaiman
Post Office, Ham on Rye, Factotum, Women – Bukowski
The Emperor of All Maladies – Mukherjee
Being Mortal – Gwande
When Breathe Becomes Air – Kalanithi
The Sun Also Rises – Hemingway
A Picture of Dorian Gray – Wilde
Candide – Voltaire