22 July 2015

Residency Update: Intern Year Orientation

Relaxing after working the holiday (July 4, if you can't tell by his outfit)

Dr. Chandler is now part of a family medicine residency with Aurora Healthcare (you can view pictures of each residency class with resident bios that link). For those of you who are only familiar with residents from watching Gray's Anatomy, first year residents are referred to as interns. Internship year is similar to med school, in that the residents have rotations throughout all areas of the hospital and medicine to have a broad foundational training before moving on to focus on the specialty of choice. What makes intern year different from medical school is that residents are no longer students. They now have the responsibilities and challenges of being a full-fledged doctor.

Scott's intern year started mid-June with human resource orientation for the hospital, as well as some testing and certification. July is set apart for orientation of each of the areas where Scott will be doing rotations this year. Each week in July, Dr. Chandler will be spending time in each of the rotations where he will be this coming year. This first month orientation set-up is unique, from what we've heard, to other residencies. Many residencies have the interns jump right in to full-time (80 hr/wk max) clinic responsibilities. This residency has given the interns one week to become familiar with the staff, duties, and timing of each hospital area before the interns take on the year of rotations.

An aside for those with only the TV medical jargon at their disposal or for anyone who's read the Med School Wives perspectives, some doctors do their internship year as a transitional year, transitioning from medical school to residency training. Transitional years are typically at a different hospital/residency for one year before moving on to the full residency training location. A transitional internship is common for surgery specialties, dermatology, some internal medicine specialties, pre-military training, or for yet undecided specialties.

So far in this orientation month Dr. Chandler has worked with internal medicine, newborn, and obstetrics. In addition to those rotations, he spends some afternoons working in the family medicine clinic seeing patients. He has been getting up at 4:45 Am each morning to study before leaving for 6:00 Am work (15 minute drive to main hospital). In June he was often home very early in the afternoon (3:00 Pm), but now that things are going more full swing, Scott is usually home around 5:00 Pm or 6:00 Pm, unless he has an "on call" day where he is at the hospital until 9:00 Pm. He works some weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, though weekend hours are not as predictable.

These longer hours of work are certainly a bit foreign to Scott, who had a more lax schedule in school. He has felt tired when he arrives at home and is eager to take some time to relax before resuming his studies and heading off to sleep. Any down time is cherished. He likes to use this time to go for a run, play Mo-ball at church, sit down to a meal with me, or do a crossword puzzle together. I'm just glad we're in the same city and he gets to come home after each shift.  It will be an adjustment, but we love where we are right now.

I'm still caught up in thinking that Scott is a student. The other day he was going to the hospital and said he was hoping he might deliver his first baby since becoming a doctor. "Surely, you won't be the one actually delivering the baby," I said. "Who else?" was Dr. Chandler's reply. Yep, in this particular hospital, had there been a baby to deliver that day among his patients, Dr. Chandler would have been the one to do it! Note to self: make an effort to avoid any major operations in July (when interns start).

15 July 2015

Toto, I've a Feeling We're Not in Oregon Anymore

Dr. Chandler and I are becoming official Wisconsinites. Boxes are unpacked, and our apartment in a southern suburb of Milwaukee is feeling more and more like home. I even went out and secured a local library card and Wisconsin driver's license! Dr. Chandler is in the throws of intern-year orientation and loving it. We checked our first Summerfest concert off our bucket list, and I volunteered at Bastille Days downtown. The real kicker was getting asked to speak last Sunday in church. That's when you know you're a true newbie.

Everywhere we go (quite literally), when we mention that we've recently moved out to the mid-west from Oregon, we are inevitably asked "What have you noticed is different about Wisconsin?" Being asked this on an almost daily basis, we've come up with a decent list:

1. Midwestern charm is real, my friends. When we initially came out to Wisconsin to scope out the area for housing, we were surprised to have strangers start up conversations with us, like we were old friends, in the hotel elevator or store lines. Wisconsinites don't believe in looking at the floor when waiting if there's anyone else in the vicinity. They are the kings and queens of small talk!

I've discovered that when you walk into a business, you shouldn't blurt out you're name and why you're there after saying your initial "hello." Oh no! If she's a true Wisconsinite, before the receptionist even knows your name she'll will want to know how you're day's been, and don't be skimpy on the details. There are many reasons why I am not yet an official Wisconsinite, but my West Coast reflexes are likely the biggest culprit. I wonder if the community college offers midwestern charm classes?

2. It may be social unacceptable in Milwaukee to be a teetotaler. How it didn't occur to us before that Milwaukee would be a beer capital is beyond us. I mean it's known as the "Brew City" and is home to the Brewers baseball team, who play in Miller Park! I've been told that the reason Milwaukee has so many festivals in the summer is to have a weekly excuse to party and drink.

We've been to several residency welcome get-togethers where alcohol is offered, and everyone is always perplexed as to why we don't drink. There's a chance we might not get invited to any more BBQs. Just sayin'.

3. Cheese outranks organic produce. When we lived in Oregon, I had no problems locating great quality organic produce. In fact, in Oregon organic produce that's in season often costs only a few cents more than conventionally grown produce.

I've been to several chain grocery stores in Wisconsin and I've been lucky if I've found two feet of organic produce space. There's generally a good produce section, which often butts up against the specialty cheese section. A store here might have four organic limes and a handful of organic green apples, but I guarantee you they will have three cheese coolers. One cheese cooler for local cheeses, one cooler for cheese spreads, and another cooler for specialty cheeses.
Behold the Wisconsin local cheese cooler at Pick 'n Save

The love of cheese is strong here.

I'm sure this list will continue to grow. I've heard over and over again that we should take advantage of the hot, humid weather while we have it. Though we haven't experienced it yet, I'm told that come winter it will be -30 F. Yeah, I had to ask for clarification. They said NEGATIVE 30 degrees, below zero. It surprises me then, that so many people who were born in Wisconsin stay in Wisconsin after experiencing its winters. I guess there must be a lot to love.