My First Day of Rotations
"The first month of a job is the worst and you
basically have that for a whole year." And that is how my friend described this
next year of my life. November began the clinical year of PA school for me and
she's not too far wrong in observing the first month at anything involves a
learning curve -- like that of the horrors of Algebra I (the first time, I took
PA rotations are typically one month long covering the major medical
disciplines. It's a great way to get a feel for what you'll like and what you
won't like, gain a little experience to cement some medical concepts, and
hopefully network with a future employer. The first months are humbling and the
first day is nerve-wracking.
My first day was in OB/Gyn clinic and for the first
time since 5th grade, I actually planned what I was going to wear
the night before, versus 15 minutes before I walk out the door. My white coat
pockets were stuffed with my Boards and
Wards, five ink-pens, a mini clip-board, and a note pad. I was prepared to
learn. I'm glad I was prepared but I should not have been nervous. It turned
out to be a great day of practicing interacting with patients, getting to know
the nurse, understanding the flow of the clinic, and I even got home early.
That first day seemed so easy and by the last day, I
knew why it seemed easy: I didn't know how much I didn't know. Clinical
rotations are teaching me that medicine is an art, a science, and an evolving
encyclopedia. Day one can be easier because a lot of the concepts you observe
are taken for granted but by day 27 or 28 you realize, "I've got to know this stuff for my patients. Whoa.
I don't know if I'm cut out for this or not because
the knowledge base is so extensive and wonderfully complex, but, in the words
of my professor, "Caroline, people dumber than you have passed the boards and
been great PAs." I'll take that as a good omen and enjoy these 12 months of
humbling. Bring on the firsts!