Saturday, June 13, 2009
Today marks the 6-month point in AG's deployment. For some reason, his "mid-leave" two-week break doesn't happen until October. So, I will just have to be patient, and since he was in a small group that left early to set things up for their unit, we don't know yet if he'll be coming back exactly 12 months from when he left, or if he gets stuck in Afghanistan until January. When I think about all the times that we have been able to talk over the phone, no matter how short, or via email, I am grateful. I can't imagine what it must have been like to be stuck waiting for letters to arrive.
I like this photo, and it doesn't reveal any top-secret identifying information. The mountains in the background remind me of Arizona, although it looks like they have a lot more green plants than back home.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Seven shifts, that is all that remains of my residency. Part of me is eager for it to be over, and the other part is panicked about not having that safety net of an attending to run things by. There will be a new safety net--specialists to talk to on the phone, skilled nurses and physician assistants who know the in's and out's of my new hospital.
Some things I am happy to leave behind, like dictating a full note after every single patient. Others, like going out for breakfast after an overnight shift, or potlucks with the nurses I'm going to miss. As for my residency classmates, the group of us will probably never be together in the same room again. We are spreading out accross the country, and although right now everyone's promising to return for the wedding next Spring, some of these people whom I have spent so much time with, I will never see or hear from again.
Shifts are longer at my new hospital, but in return there are more days off. And despite being a "community hospital", the volume is practically the same as my current Level 1 Trauma Center. There are less specialists and no residents, which translates into me doing more procedures myself than I do here. I fully anticipate to be stressed this first year out, but it's what I want... I think. Some of my classmates are staying here where they are comfortable, and others have negotiated better contracts for less hours and less patients than I will be seeing. I tend to learn more by doing than reading about it, so I think I would rather struggle now in my career and gain experience and confidence rather than slowing down and maybe having to learn to increase my productivity later in my career.