My thoughts on the second year of residency

June 14, 2015 in Reflection on Year 2

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! Read the rest of this entry →