Hey all! I took some time away during Step 2 CS/CK prep as well as after in order to reconnect with friends and family. I was also feeling pretty blah about social media so I purposely put it aside. It was nice to not check my phone obsessively every few hours and just forget about it for a bit.
Happy to be back and posting on here! Now that I’m officially in my research year I thought I would give you all an update and some of my thoughts on this past year.
Third year was my favorite year, but it was also the hardest year.
I never realized how good we had it in the pre-clinical years with all the time to study, compared to staying long hours in the hospital/clinic and then coming home to review. It was a different kind of exhaustion. On top of that, my rotation schedule was set so that I had to move for all of them, with my last move back to Philadelphia. Since most of the places were about an hour and a half away I decided not to keep an apartment for the year in order to save money and stick with hospital housing. Looking back, I really do not recommend this. Not having a home base to come home to every weekend was rough and I felt like a nomad trekking from place to place with all of my stuff (and I have a lot of stuff). I am so grateful to my friends and boyfriend for letting me stay with them on weekends and days leading up to each shelf exam, thank you guys!!
Despite all of that, third year was amazing and so much better than the first two. I loved it. I had some self doubts going through the first two years but they’re all gone now. The field of medicine is incredible! It’s really impressive when I think back to how nervous I used to be when I first entered the hospital compared to now. Still a little nervous, but much more competent. I used to think it was a bit cliche when people would talk about how cases in textbooks “come to life” but now I’m the one repeating the phrase back. It’s really incredible when what you study becomes applicable to real life! To anyone who is currently in their pre-clinical years, trust that the material you are studying will directly impact your knowledge base and future patient care. It’s a great feeling when residents and attendings discuss medications and you’re able to participate, with the occasional help from Epocrates of course.
Third year is also the year I decided on my specialty. I was leaning towards obgyn when I first started, then considered anesthesia*, and ultimately fell in love with surgery. There were a lot of factors that went into this decision and it wasn’t an easy one. Because I arrived at my decision a little later and because I was ending my third year so close to application season, I am pursuing a research year between MS3 and MS4 in order to make myself a better candidate for next year. Cheers to a productive year!
*If you’re considering anesthesia check out Dr. Rishi Kumar over at rk.md. He’s currently a cardiac and ICU anesthesia fellow over at Harvard and was really helpful when I first contacted him about anesthesiology.
And lastly, a big reason why I started this blog and joined the Instagram medical community was because I found third year so isolating. This was most likely why I felt so overwhelmed when I signed back in – adding back time with friends&family on top of keeping up with social media was something I wasn’t used to anymore. So here’s a big thank you to everyone I’ve connected with through this blog. Whether it was through email, Instagram messages, and especially those I’ve been able to grab coffee with, you really made my third year experience an amazing one. It’s been approximately on year since I’ve started all this and my plan is to continue!
Thanks for reading!