My thoughts on the second year of residency

I’m just finishing up my second year of my Internal Medicine (IM) Residency program. Perfect time for a little reflection.

Residency itself: In IM residency programs, first year residents (“interns”) work under a second or third year resident (a “senior resident”). A staff physician looks over the entire team (usually rather peripherally). The transition from first to second year brings many new responsibilities (you basically run the team!), and can be rather stressful. Since my program is very hands-on, by the end of my intern year I adequately felt prepared to be a senior resident. Or maybe I was just ready to be done with being an intern! But even so, it took some time to get used to the changes. The good news is that I now feel comfortable running large, busy teams and maintaining organization and good work flow. I find time to study and feel like my knowledge has grown exponentially. I have no doubt that I’ll be ready to work on my own in a year. The bad new is that the hours were significantly worse this year with lots of night and weekend call and many night float blocks. More days than not I feel pretty burnt out, making it hard to empathize and provide the best possible care. This is what I’ll have to work on most next year.

basic work outfit

Diet and Fitness: Maintaining a healthy diet and weight has been pretty difficult this year. I started out the year without any particular dieting goals or practices. I ended up putting on a few pounds (ugh, hospital food) and giving up eating dinner to lose the weight. It worked, but it sucked. I decided to try the Paleo thing after that. There are some amazing Paleo blogs/ recipes out there, which made that diet pretty fun to follow. Unfortunately, after a few months I noticed that I was actually putting on more weight when I was following that “diet.” I eventually gave it up. I had a hard time figuring out what to do next. I debated doing the beach body diet, but 1) it was expensive, and 2) it seemed too pointlessly complicated. I decided calorie counting would be easier and more exact (= better results). About 2 months ago I started just that with the My Fitness Pal app (my review). It obviously works. I put it on hold for the week I was on vacation and noticed that I did put some weight back on, so I think I’ll stick with tracking for… uh… ever? Or as long as I can! As far as fitness goes, I try to exercise (usually power yoga) for 1 hour every day I’m not on call. Once I have some extra time I’d love to try some new workout classes (I’m looking forward to adding some barre and HIIT into my workout schedule!). I’m still allowing myself to add new workout clothes to my collection every few weeks to keep myself motivated. This crochet-back sports bra is my favorite new addition (avoid if busty)! And I’ve heard that Lululemon is supposed to be coming out with lots of new CRB colors, which I’ll be snatching up if and when that ever happens. Lululemon still sells crazy well on eBay, so I don’t feel too bad spending so much money there!

basic work outfits

Family and Friends: Residency killed my social life. There just isn’t time for everything, and seeing friends and family frequently gets put aside. Thankfully, I have some great friends in residency that I can see before, during or after work. I don’t see them as much as I’d like, but I see them enough to feel somewhat connected at least most of the time. As for my friends outside of residency? Well, I haven’t seen (or really talked to) any of them. And my family? I’ve seen my immediate family maybe twice in the past year (although we do try to touch base intermittently). But I haven’t seen my extended family for years. I missed some big events like my grandmas 100th birthday party and my cousin’s wedding. I try not to think about this much because I can’t do anything about it.

Beauty Stuff: I posted a while back about trying not to “let myself go.” Its a constant struggle. I hate spending time at the salon to get my hair done every few months, but I do it (usually after someone comments how great my ombre looks…). I don’t have time to paint my nails, but at least I keep them cut and filed. I shower (lol)!! But I don’t really shave thanks to getting laser hair removal years ago. And I don’t usually wash my hair more than 2-3x per week thanks to dry shampoo (I switch off between this one and this one). And if I do wash my hair I let it air-dry. I try to wear a little makeup most days, usually just a light coat of this foundation and a dusting of my favorite blush or bronzer. I get dressed when I have to for work, but rarely otherwise. One day I’ll get back into these things.

simple work outfit

Big Events: There have been a few note-worthy events this year. Nothing much happened in the beginning of the year. In February I bought my first car, a 2011 Honda CRV. A nice, boring and reportedly reliable car. I’m hoping to pay it off by the time I finish residency. About a month ago I got lasix and have had great results! My vision is perfect, its amazing (not a fan of the frequent eye drops, but that’s ok). Just recently I moved out of my studio into a house. With Ben. We’re still in the process of moving and getting things together which is pretty stressful! But on a positive note, my cats and his dog seem to get along. Nobody’s been eaten yet. And lastly, my second year vacation was to the Cayman Islands. I haven’t talked about it much yet or posted pictures, but I’ll eventually get there!

Whew, long post. But I think that sums up second year pretty well. Third year will bring a ton of changes… looking forward to it!