Intern Year Recap
As my kids end school and I start power- reading to get ready to be a 2nd year resident, I want to take a chance to recap this crazy roller coaster/ transformative/ at times impossible/ at time inspirational year.
Top 10 ways to rock intern year.
1. Make friends with your co interns. Your nurses. Your seniors. Basically, anyone in the hospital. It is the place where you will spend the bulk of your time, so having people you look forward to seeing, talking to, working with, will make the tedious hours go by shorter, the hard times a bit easier, and the terrible days a little less terrible. You may even have fun.
2. If you ever are doubting your abilities, teach something, anything, to a medical student. You will be amazed at how much you actually do know. You will help them learn something. And you will feel like a better, kinder, and more capable person for it. Teaching also helps solidify information, so if there is something you struggled to know the day before, teach it to a medical student today. Believe me, it is a huge ego boost and a way to help out someone who will one day be your colleague.
3. DO NOT LIE. If you didn't order a test, or do a complete exam, or replete lytes, or order an antibiotic, DO NOT LIE. Just be honest. Admit mistakes, and work to correct them.
4. Invest in really comfortable shoes. I wore worn out tennis shoes for 6 months and my feet ached. every. single. day. When I finally bought a better pair of supportive, soft, arch-supporting shoes, I felt 100 times better at the end of a shift.
5. Check in with yourself. At some point, I realized that I (a little curvy to begin with) had gained 10 pounds during my first 6 months of residency. Check in. Run, Exercise, Eat right. Come up with a plan. Bring lunch instead of ordering in or buying cafeteria food. Skip the muffin at the free breakfast. The past month I have been committing to 2BMindset (on the Beachbody website) and I lost those 10 pounds. It was a lot of effort and commitment, but I feel better, healthier, and am inspired to keep on a weight loss track to lose the rest of the "curvy" that still has me 20 pounds over my pre-baby weight.
6. Find something you love and make time for it. I love cooking. I stalk instagram food bloggers, hoard too many cookbooks, and screenshot recipes compulsively. Cooking gives me a creative outlet and also lets me feed myself and my family in a healthy, affordable way. Having an outlet outside of the hospital is essential for your wellbeing.
7. Drink water. Being dehydrated is awful.
8. Remember your "Real life" friends. There was period of time where I had not spoken to my best friends (non medical, live in a different state) in over 2 months. I missed the birth of their babies, kids' birthday parties, their birthdays. I felt terrible and lonely. I just wanted to go home and give up. Luckily, face time and whatsapp goes a long way and I was able to realize why I felt so lonely and make an effort to reach out. Don't forget those who loved you and supported you along the way.
9. If you have a significant other/partner remember them. Try not to come home so utterly depleted that you have "no nice left to give." Your relationship deserves it.
10. Make every day a learning day. and try to end every day with positive thinking. When you get home, think about 1 thing you learned. Think about 1 thing that made you happy. Think about 1 think you are excited to do tomorrow. (Bonus: think of 1 thing you did to make someone ELSE happy.) Thinking positively and productively will help you sleep better and be happier overall.
* Bonus- remember that your kids will think you are the coolest person ever no matter what. Love them unconditionally, the way they love you. If you only have energy to cuddle in bed, then do that. They don't care if laundry isn't done. One thing I learned this year is that my kids are freakin awesome. Resilient. SO. Much. Fun. Way more social than I am. Adaptable. And as much as I feel like I am never home, they have taught me to appreciate the time that I am.
Off to Year 2!