Sorry that I've been gone so long! There has been a plethora of craziness, which started with a whole host of personal junk and moving to Queens, and ended with an intimidating orientation week.
First things first - I didn't realize there would be so many interns starting with me! Most are not in my field, but I recognized a lot of classmates and overall people seem decently nice. We will all be rotating together during our first year, which makes me feel good because I won't be going through it all alone. My program took 5 interns including me, and the program also does have a lot of girls, which is another good thing. (Although women can be bitchy. I'll have to look out for that.) Most of the faculty seemed approachable and full of useful advice, like DON'T PISS OFF THE NURSES BECAUSE THEY RUN THE HOSPITAL and DON'T PISS OFF THE RADIOLOGISTS BECAUSE WE DON'T HAVE A PACS SYSTEM HERE. Overall, though, the message is that this will be an interesting year that I will look back on for the rest of my life and blah, blah, blah. Dear God, I just want to make it to vacation in October. Love, Sarada.
One thing that kind of struck me was how Fight Club the whole thing was. Residency is, by and large, like being in the army. Which makes me feel great because there's no earthly way I'd survive in the army. There's a clearly delineated hierarchy, and when you have an issue, you'd think that you just go straight up the hierarchy. Not so, apparently. This is FIGHT CLUB, and the first rule of fight club is that you DO NOT TALK ABOUT FIGHT CLUB. So if I have an issue, it's basically down to my chief resident to care or not care about helping buffer it with the offending party. They were pretty clear about not taking things to the program director or chief of surgery, which I was surprised about. Supposedly this is for our protection, but somehow not being able to talk to someone who is actually employed by the hospital is somewhat disconcerting. I completely understand the need of making sure your chief resident is on board, because they're in charge of the team and it isn't fair to blindside them with some issue and let it escalate unnecessarily. But the whole thing is kind of sweep-it-under-the-rug.
The good news is that my co-residents and chiefs seem like decent people. They were really insistent that we go to them for any help we need when it comes to managing patients or doing minor procedures, as well as reporting any mistakes made. It's an important message to give, because nobody wants to look incompetent or unprepared, and people will lie/pretend/ignore issues to maintain a game face. I keep thinking about how I'd feel if I was that patient and someone was putting their own ego above my health management, and I'm glad that the department is working hard to make sure we don't go hiding or beat ourselves up for mistakes at the expense of fixing them. We have mandatory socializing today at a bar, which I suppose is to encourage everyone to let their hair down / find out what we're really made of when we're drunk. I'm trying desperately to get some studying done before I go, because we have to read a ton of Sabiston's Textbook of Surgery each week, along with studying for the Step III of the board exams. I'm starting off with my Case Files: Ob-Gyn review book, because my first rotation of the year is Ob-Gyn (gulp!) and I really don't want to look unprepared in front of the attending. Although, let's face it, I am utterly unprepared. I don't even have my white coat or beeper yet.
In other news, my apartment is officially set up, but I foolishly only installed one AC unit and now it is balls to the wall hot in here. Hopefully in a day or two I will have my second unit in place and I won't be drinking gallons of water a day. I also still do not have internet, which is a bigger problem than I thought because I have a lot of registering for exams and such to take care of. (Also, I can't blog.) Ah well. At least my kidneys and sweat glands are happy.