It’s amazing how different the feel of a rotation is depending on all the different factors that make it up: the hospital, the type of patients, the attendings, and the residents. I’ve just started my second 4 week jaunt into the surgical world–now at a different hospital–and it’s completely different.
After coming down from a really great rotation elsewhere, some really positive feedback about my performance, and getting my board scores back (phew!), it’s frustrating to switch to a new facility and new team, having to re-learn how to look up vitals, labs, and x-rays. It’s new computer passwords, new clinic layouts, and new time schedules. Just when you’re finally getting the hang of things you’re back to square one.
I guess I should get used to it: this jumping around is my life for the next two years, and there’s probably more continuity now (going from surgery there to surgery here) than there will be when I start neurology next month. I find myself drawing on the familiar when seeing patients (the familiar being abdominal and rectal exams), which, surprisingly, just isn’t that high-yield when you’re seeing patients with breast disease all day long. It seems like I was just really getting good at asking the poop and fart questions, but now I’m quickly learning the new list: “Any nipple discharge? Breast pain? Masses? History of breast cancer in your family?”
This change is relatively small, in retrospect; last month at my hospital, I saw so many men as patients that I was surprised to remember today that women get sick, too. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess.