Wednesday, July 05, 2006

End of Internship year

Well, it is July 4, 2006. I am post-call and although tired, felt like browsing the forum and thought it would be nice to record some thoughts on completing the internship year. Perhaps those of you in a similar position might want to share your stories too.

What a year it has been! Well, first off, as a Med-Peds resident, I should qualify my experience. In med-peds, unlike categorical residencies, internship lasts 14 months instead of the usual 12. This is because we are doing two residencies and need to fulfill criteria for completion of core curricula in each. That means that although I am now a PGY2, I am still an intern for another 4 months (this one included). I also have the rather odd position of being a senior in medicine and still an intern in pediatrics.

The exciting event on the horizon for all of us is getting our licenses! This happens once your program submits a document to the state medical board to say that you have completed one year of post-graduate training. All the rest of my paperwork is done and I should expect the license in about 2 weeks to a month. At that point, I will be able to sign prescriptions for all things except narcotics. That latter privilege comes after I get an assigned DEA number. I need the state license first. It is interesting that there is no 'other' license issued to you at the end of residency. This is it. Of course, being licensed in one state means you can only practice in that state. Some states have reciprocity agreements and grant licenses easier if you are licensed in one of the states they have an agreement with. (I haven't investigated that much; having a license is plenty good enough for me for now).

It is interesting how I feel a little changed through this first year. I am a little (just a little) more sure of myself in the hospital and clinics. At least things are more familiar (I know where the cafetaria and rest rooms are) and I feel that I can usually do a few things rather than stand around biting my nails when things get scary. I am particularly proud of my ability to put in central lines (the subclavian is my favorite) and in my program, I have something of reputation for that.

To those of you who know me, I still draw biochemical graffiti on blank blackboards, greenboards or whiteboards whenever I see one. The program and residents tolerate me in that regard. You know, I think you really don't really how much has changed until you look into the eyes of the new interns and see their dazed look or they ask you questions and somehow (miraculously) you know the answers. Being a senior is kind of scary because while the intern does the H & P, you decide the management plan. Somehow though, I am not afraid of that responsibility and feel up to the challenge.

The USMLE exams are now a distant memory and are only relived whenever the intraining exams come around (which for peds is in a week).