The ICU is not my favorite place. It is where we keep all of the actively dying people. Many times, their loved ones are completely unaware of just how sick they are. Sure, there are people that recover, sometimes miraculously, but often it seems to be a slow, steady decline. A decline over days and weeks, in which one gets to know a patient's family. I remember the rotation from medical school as being a month of terminal weans from ventilators.
It is also a good rotation for learning. There are a lot of bedside procedures to be done, and I am definitely going to be challenged to make quick decisions and know my own limits. There will be an attending physician on call at night, but they aren't even in the hospital.
I was talking with one of our chief residents about his experiences the other day and he said, "Well, you are either really going to learn a lot, or there's going to be a lot of people dying and you won't have a clue why." Great, I can't wait to get started.