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).