Finished my last shift for the year doing consults in the Emergency Department and even had enough time to grab a coffee and use the bathroom, so not too bad… Today we enjoyed Christmas as a family and tomorrow we head off for a large family gathering.
This last year was unique as I took over 6 months of paternity leave before returning to residency in August. It was great to have that time with my family and some time for myself.
Back in February a call went out from in-House for reflections on the first year of residency and I thought being on leave was something different, so I wrote a short reflection. It was well received and has since been reposted to KevinMD and lead to my being interviewed on a CanadiEM podcast along with a Medscape article (free registration required for full article). Glad to see people are receptive to my perspective on taking leave and making family a priority.
This year I also became more involved in the Health Humanities. From February to October I was the Humanities Intern at CMAJ and was involved in peer review, development of a rubric for evaluating submissions, and help to develop the new Graphic Medicine section. In addition, I had a short comic published on in-House, my poem Handsome Cat was published, and a number of older pieces of writing found venues for publication.
The time off also gave me a chance to do some reading, some mentioned in a previous post. I also took a few courses including a Joule self-awareness/leadership course and a few continuing faculty development courses through U of Toronto (mentorship, teaching health humanities, etc.). These would be far more difficult to fit into my schedule during residency or when in practice, so it was nice to explore some of my interests during the break.
After many months at home and family time including trips to Niagara Falls, I headed back to residency in the fall and joined the incoming R1 cohort. As expected I was a bit slow the first few days and found that my DDx was narrowed. Things have gone well since and I’ve completed blocks of Hospitalist, ER, OB/Gyn, and just started my block of General Internal Medicine. With my being off schedule my R2 year of Family Medicine starts in a few months and have 2 large exams in the coming year. Still not sure if I will do a +1 year, but am trying to arrange things to continue my involvement in the medical humanities.
Thanks everyone that has followed my journey in medicine via the blog and my Twitter @AbootMedicine over the last few years.