The last month or so has been a very stressful time for me. If I'm being completely forthcoming it's been longer than that, but I've been acutely aware of it for about a month. Quite a bit has contributed. I've been feeling in general unsettled and quite anxious for a few months now, much of which has to do with a personal situation--how ironic, no??
Professionally/academically it has also been challenging. During the course of the past six months, I have been in a different rotation every four weeks. And all but one of them was a new rotation. This meant that I had a constant back-and-forth with myself about feeling comfortable in the rotation and feeling like I've learned what is appropriate vs. taking vacation time and not getting admonished for not using my vacation days. Add to the mix Step 3, which was a month of studying following by two days of MCQ purgatory. Who wouldn't be excited?? Perhaps unique to me, I was annoyed about having to take the thing because more than 80% of the thing is related to medicine, and the management of medical patients...It may bear mentioning that I'm a psychiatrist. I haven't seen my stethoscope in months because I don't need it. I think it's buried in the trunk of my car. Yet I'm required for licensing purposes to be able to not only diagnose things like gallstones, but also recommend the appropriate intervention and treatment. For hell's sake...I'm a facking psychiatrist. I am not trained for surgery, much less licensed. Yes, in medical school a medical student has 8-12 weeks of required surgery rotation. What that ultimately means is you stand there and hold retractors in ergonomically unsound positions for three hours while an asshole surgeon (that may be redundant...) asks questions to which only he/she knows the answer. During intern year, I handled one, exactly one GI patient--and that, pardon the pun, was a shit show as soon after admission (on a senior-less Saturday morning, no less) Smuckers jam started exiting this poor man's rectum, and GI and the MICU experts assumed his care. So, fast-forward several years and the meshuganna psychiatry resident is taking Step 3 and being asked questions regarding patients he's never seen, and in reality would have deferred out to a consult service. But never mind. What is one to do about this? Could we have a separate board exam for each service? How fair would that be? Probably not very fair, or manageable. So, like many a psych resident before me, I did thousands of practice questions and faked my way through Step 3, which thank God I passed. Now, on to 3rd year and outpatient clinic!!