Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Well Intern Exam: Half-way through Intern Year

Do you have difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep? – No. I can fall asleep anywhere at any time. While I’m waiting for the garage door to open at home after a night shift. While my husband is telling me about his day. My kids have taken to telling me to drink coffee as soon as I get home so I don’t fall asleep while reading to them. The act of sleeping is not a problem. The time to sleep is the problem.

Do you engage in 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week? – Ha. I’m laughing to hard to formulate an appropriate answer. I run once a week for 30 minutes. On a good week I go to an exercise class. My fingers have become very nimble at typing.

Do you make time for family and friends? – My list of thank you notes to write is piling up. Nobody outside of immediate family got Christmas gifts this year. A rushed photo on Christmas morning texted to friends and family was our Christmas card. My kid has a birthday party coming up and I have no idea what we are going to do for it or how it’s going to get arranged. My kid’s teacher has introduced herself 3 times to me because she “doesn’t think we’ve met before.”

Do you wear sunscreen regularly? – I have the best skin cancer prevention practice - I don’t see the sun.

Have you had any unintentional weight changes? – Clinical medicine has been great for my midline. I can fit into all my old pants I outgrew in medical school!

All in all, Intern year is a rollercoaster of emotions and stress. Some days I love what I do and feel so lucky to be part of this profession. Other days, I look at the MA’s in the clinic and envy their ability to work regular hours with loads of time for pursuing interests outside of work. Some goals I’ve succeeded at this year, such as getting more efficient with day-to-day activities, working on research, reading everyday. Other goals have fallen terribly by the wayside, such as writing on Mothers in Medicine, being more involved in the kids’ school or seeing my non-work friends. I have a new forehead wrinkle (particularly unfair given I’m never in the sun). I’m lucky to have a supportive husband and awesome kids that (mostly) don’t make me feel guilty for working long hours. And my hairdresser lets me nap while he does my hair.

Now a little more than halfway through Intern year, I’m still happy I choose to switch careers and go to medical school. I’m still happy everyday (most days) I get to be a doctor. I’m taking that as a good sign. Now, to figure out the getting more exercise bit . . .


  1. LOL! You are taking me back. . . It gets better. I don't think I needed sunscreen for 10 years. I remember (and I'm path, not OB, so I've no reason to complain). And I've heard botox is very good for forehead wrinkles, although I haven't tried it yet.

    I'd take sleep over exercise any day. I was so wound up in residency I never slept. You are prolonging your life, and time for exercise will come later. Having said that - don't sacrifice yourself to your job and your family, entirely. Take time for an occasional pedi. Get a massage every couple of months. Don't forget to do you.

  2. You're lucky. I developed insomnia when I started intern year. It turns out being tired doesn't always mean sleep will happen.

  3. These scrubs are not super soft, nor are they too stiff. They seem like the perfect blend to me. These surgical scrubs will be great for work. Package arrived today tried it on and it fit great. I'm purchased the True Navy Blue set.

  4. I am a mommy intern too and identify with this so much- particularly the 1 run, 1 class per week max and the new forehead wrinkle!! I feel guilty hearing about others who wake up before 5am to run- or somehow have the energy to do it after putting kids down for the night. I am actually enjoying the clinical work but I'm at the hospital ALL THE TIME, and I miss my daughter so much it makes me cry sometimes. It's true that residency is only temporary, but there are at least 4 more intense clinical training years ahead. How much of the old me, the one that is on the back burner, the one that spends enough time with family, travels, exercises daily, and has time to write thank you notes, is going to be lost by the time I have a more manageable schedule? Anyway. I do feel slightly better reminding myself that being a resident is a choice. We will always have the right and ability to make a different choice if we ever need/want to. Good luck and thanks for the post!


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