It is 19 October. Paperwork is due to change an elective one month before the start date. Paperwork for the elective in $other_city, where my second-choice Family Medicine residency program lurks, is due fifteen days before the start date, by special allowance of the elective calendar. The elective I want to take starts Nov. 1.
Today, O Best Beloved, after much confusion and panic and e-mailing back and forth with the dean's office, I got the last of my approvals by e-mail for the elective. I have no signatures. I am not in the same city as the dean's office. I forwarded them all to him as he had suggested. Ten minutes later (at 5:10 PM, our time) I got the following:
Nykki -I am going to do my elective. I have an apartment, I will have the schedule set up, now I just need to call and schedule an interview time. For there and for one other, and then there is only the videotape from one last one to watch and see what I am supposed to do.
Got them all. Have a good time in $city !
I want to praise the dean's office for being so wonderful to me. How should I do it?
And then there was the first part of my day, today. I arrived at $hospital at six minutes after seven, and my residents were not where they said they would be. After ten minutes of searching, I paged them. We met down by the cafeteria; they laughed it off. I had a very uneasy feeling.
Two of the new admissions were handed off to me quite cheerfully. "Hey, Nykki? Want to see a patient?" Sure. "Here, see her...and...her roommate too." I went. I saw them. I wandered around the floor; I can't write orders without a cosignature - and I found M, who is another resident. There are lots of cute boys here, says a secret part of my soul. Boys almost as cute as N. We discussed my patients and my plans. He nodded, raised his brows, agreed and cosigned my orders. When the third-year I am nominally shadowing came around, I felt prepared and confident. And he agreed with me, mostly. We are keeping a patient I saw early in the day who later sounded worse; we are grasping at straws for the lady with nausea and vomiting.
"Want something to do?" M asks me. "Want to go see one of my patients?" I went. He was effusive in his compliments of my note and my assessment of the situation. We spent the afternoon together; I went to the ER to work up an admission while he did discharges. When he found me, I was writing my H&P. I am not fast, but I thought it best to write it up so that I would be able to present. Then I started work on the admitting orders.
In the back of my mind a tiny voice calls out to me. "It is October. In July you will be a doctor." It is time to begin acting like a doctor. The day when the lives of people will be in my hands is coming so very soon. I wrote admit orders. He complimented me; I had time to look up cellulitis in my Sanford and decide on a course of antibiotic action - I looked smart. He was impressed with my history, he agreed with my management plan, he looked at me and said "If I could have done this as a fourth-year, I'd be a lot better off now."
I am terrified of internship. I cannot possibly know enough to survive.
We finished the write-up and he turned to me. "If I were you," he says, with a smile, "I would go home now. You're a senior. Goof off."
That is the second time now I have been told to go goof off. It begins to dawn on me that perhaps I should do just that. But in this season of applications and phone calls and trying to schedule electives, I have not had time. My play is as driven as my work, for now.
I went home, after taking Xev to the vet's office as this morning she sounded croupy and in impending respiratory distress. She has antibiotics. And now, O Best Beloved, I am going to go play.