My medical ICU rotation was profoundly eye-opening beyond words. I saw many patients teetering on the edge of life-and-death – some regrettably passed away while others literally walked out of the ICU. It was a reminder of the very real mortality we face as human beings, but it also served to show how remarkable modern medicine has become.
I bore witness to many life-saving advances in healthcare – mechanical ventilation and dialysis ease normal body functions affected during the peak of disease, vasoactive substances maintain perfusion to end organs despite severe sepsis, portable x-rays and ultrasounds instantaneously provide a behind-the-scenes view of pathology… and I haven’t even delved into the countless medications which control everything from diabetes and hypertension to adrenal insufficiency and bronchospasm. 😯
Truth be told, after three ICU months as an intern, I really enjoy what the career entails. The “think AND act now” mentality is incredibly appealing. This lure was augmented by a wonderful team of interns, upper-level residents, fellows, and attendings which will be difficult to top. Fortunately, critical care is a fellowship option for anesthesiologists and something which I may consider in the future.
Beginning tomorrow, I’m on my transfusion medicine rotation. While this is a more laid back rotation than MICU, I’ll have the opportunity to learn about blood banking, transfusion reactions, and indications/complications of plasmapheresis. I’m also using this month to prepare for USMLE Step 3!
Here’s hoping for a great first day tomorrow.