This post concludes my time as a third year medical student (MS3) and aims to reflect on a few milestones I’ve encountered over the last twelve months of clinical rotations (links to summaries of my MS1 and MS2 years).
The USMLE Step 1, easily the most important exam I’ve taken so far, has come and gone. I studied just over four weeks in February/March and took the exam on March 18th. Studying for Step 1 was a nice reprieve from rotations and gave me a chance to really assess how much I learned *cough-retained-cough* in the first eighteen months as a student – I’m incredibly grateful for all the professors and my colleagues for giving me incredible insight regarding the wonder of the human body.
Finished Core Rotations
After Internal Medicine and Psychiatry as an MS2, I started third year on OB/Gyn and proceeded to Surgery -> Neurology -> Family Medicine, and recently finished Pediatrics. Looking back, the variety of patients I saw in the Texas Medical Center provided me with unparalleled opportunities to learn from and partake in the care of my fellow man. I’ve come far from writing the brand name of glucose testing strips in my H&Ps during Internal Medicine, but I still don’t know anything about renal (only kidding). 😆
Career Goal In View
Over the last few months, I’ve reflected on my strengths and weaknesses, desires for the future, and incorporated advice I’ve received from attendings, residents, and other mentors to arrive at the final choice of pursuing pediatric anesthesiology. There are horror stories of residents starting in one program and switching to something entirely different a few months in, but I feel I’ve put enough consideration into making this choice.
I’ll be applying this fall, interviewing in the late fall/winter, and then anxiously awaiting that fateful “Match Day” in March 2013.
In the meantime, I need to get my recommendation letters and continue doing research with the department of anesthesia. I’ve also recently been made one of the co-chairs for our admissions committee. Though it’ll be a lot of work, I’m genuinely looking forward to sharing my zeal for Baylor Med’s program with other applicants from around the country. 🙂
Tomorrow I’ll be starting an elective in the surgical intensive care unit (SICU). The thought of seeing some of the sickest patients in the hospital has me a little concerned, but I think confidence is key. This is a chance to assimilate the tricks and knowledge I’ve picked up in all my core rotations to better address the needs of those on the brink of life and death. It’ll be a unique learning opportunity; I just need to get back into the routine of waking up at 4 AM. 😮
Three years down. One to go.