Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Month 4, PGY-1

Is October over already? It's hard to believe winter is just around the corner, and we've already survived four months of residency. October was Mr. D's first month on neurosurgery and it actually wasn't too bad. It definitely was our hardest month thus far, but that was to be expected.

There were several things that made this month more difficult.

The first being hours. Doc had some seriously long days. For the most part I didn't mind, but there were some nights where I got extremely frustrated because I missed him. But on those late nights he was there for important reasons so this is something that I will just have to adjust to.

Another reason the month was hard: the demands of the service. Mr. Dawkter found himself busier with more patients, more issues, and more complex problems, all of which were an adjustment for him. He came home the first two weeks frustrated feeling that he didn't know things as quickly or as thoroughly as he thought he should. I was constantly reminding him that this is his first month on neurosurgery, and that the other residents had been doing this for months and years. I know Mr. D felt like he wasn't keeping up with the other residents, but he couldn't have been doing that badly because he already got his monthly evaluation which included mostly 5's (of 5). So although he has room for improvement, I think he did well for it being his first month. I also know that he got here by pushing himself and he excels by being hard on himself.

The emotional aspect of the service was the third challenge that neurosurgery brought. Although Mr. Dawkter had experienced seriously injured and terminal patients, this month seemed to bring a greater number of sad stories and tragic cases that seemed to weigh more heavily on his heart. I don't know how he or other medical professionals and emergency personnel handle it. It made me realize that my "bad day," is nothing compared to his "bad day."

We are officially 1/3 of the way through intern year. Next up: trying to adjust to sharing my husband with medicine during the holidays.


  1. Thanks for sharing. Glad you've already got four months down! It's so true about the "bad days." Sometimes my husband will tell me about hypothetical cases and I get the chills. I don't know what I'm going to do when he experiences these things up close and personal. I don't envy them one bit! I'm really interested to hear how the holidays go. Hang in there! :o)

  2. I can't believe that we have made it through FOUR MONTHS!! Slowly but surely I guess we get into the swing of things. Although I am doing long distance (duh!) I totally know what you mean about missing them because of the insanity and long hours. That's the hardest for me also... we have a little bit of a "schedule" going on, but this month we sort of got rocked by the craziness and long hours.


  3. I think feeling like you don't know things well enough is all part of residency :0) (and med school) I'm sure his frustrations are only making him quicker and sharper. 1/3 down is awesome!!!

  4. I was shocked when November showed up on my calendar. It's already November?! Geeez
    Thanks for sharing you and Dr. D's experience as you two go through residency. It definitely allows me to mentally prepare for what's ahead.

  5. That's so good that he's doing so well! I can't imagine how they deal with what they see everyday but I'm so glad smart people like him are out there doing it. Let him know that all his patients and their families appreciate it more than he knows!

  6. Great post! I'm not looking forward to the holidays since Dr.J isn't off for any and no family is coming up to visit. It'll be a big adjustment for sure. Can't believe 4 months of intern year are over! Seems like we just got started!

  7. I think neurosurgery wives have it the hardest, followed by transplant surgeons' wives, and then ortho-trauma wives,and every-other-speciaty if the guy is business-driven wives, of all doctor's wives!!

    I don't know how everyone does it. I'm sitting here moping because Jerbear won't be back from paeds-ER until midnight (or earlier).

    1/3 is huge. I hope you two get a chance to celebrate the milestones!

  8. You are 1/3 done! That's awesome!! It's so crazy, but intern year goes by SO FAST. And second year is so much better. (Well, so far!)

  9. 1/3 done with Intern year! Must feel great! I love reading your blog to get an idea of "what lies ahead" for me. J and I are a dr-lawyer couple with the genders switched. Thanks for sharing your insight.


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