Don't Call It a Comeback
So, it's been a while. How have you been? Me, not too bad. Turns out the first board exam is as hard as everyone says, and that studying 12 hrs a day, 6 days a week for 5 weeks leading up to the exam is not great fun. Turns out good friends can get you through it, though.
Oh, 3rd year of medical school? Good times, long hours. You get to experience a little bit of everything in medicine, which is great. The only problem is that as soon as you feel a small amount of comfort in one specialty it's time to rotate to the next one, where you can feel like an idiot again for a few weeks. No worries though, as long as you have an idea of how to act professional, a good sense of humor, and don't take yourself too seriously, you'll get by. Things get even better towards the end of the year when you finally decide on a specialty and can (potentially) relax about grades and settle into learning aspects of each field for the sake of your future career.
You always thought I would do ortho, huh? Well I actually decided on pediatrics (probably a subspecialty in the field that will allow me to do hospital work). As much as I would enjoy the money and lifestyle that comes with some other specialties I was considering (interventional cardiology, I'm looking at you!) I couldn't overlook the fact that taking care of kids during my first few months on the wards was the most rewarding experience I had all year. The other nice thing is that even the sickest kid whines less than the average adult patient. Parents? Yeah, they can be a little challenging, but you can tell even the less-than-ideal ones love their kids and are usually trying to be better parents. Sometimes mental illness or poverty just get in the way of that ideal. And sure, working with child abuse will be tough, but we all know it happens and I'd rather be the guy trying his best to defend those that can't defend themselves than just look the other way and try to protect myself from the ugly reality of it all.
So there you go, all caught up. I'm finishing up the last 2 wks of my 3rd year and am looking forward to what, by all accounts, should be a cush 4th year full of electives, residency interviews, and vacation months. I'll try to do a little better with staying in touch in the future...