So, tomorrow is that last day of my last elective in medical school.
It’s kind of a non-milestone milestone. I still have 8 weeks – 4 two week blocks – of selectives left, to say nothing of interviews and matching and the LMCC. It’s not like I’m done with medical school.
Still, I found myself thinking about it today. Every time I tune into our class Facebook group, it’s a discussion about our grad festivities. This is an admitted relief from CARMS questions – and oh boy, expect a post about that because CARMS should really be a four letter word – but it does bring into my mind again that this massive chapter in my life is a mere 6 months away from being over.
I’ve said this before on this blog several times and I’m sure I’ll say it again, but medical school, when you’re in it, seems endless. Long hours, and studying, working 27 hour days and 6 days a week makes it feel like it’s a mountain you’ll never summit. It’s been increasingly strange to realize that now, when I look up, I can see the peak, and it’s not that far away.
Regardless, I’ve really enjoyed my elective experience. I got to see and do so much in my rural gen OBS electives, with fantastic docs. Deliver babies, close surgical incisions, first assist, do hysteroscopies and D+C’s, put in and remove IUD’s: the amount of sheer stuff I got to do that I hadn’t had the chance to experience in core was just so amazing and fantastic and I definitely recommend to everyone when booking your electives to try and get one rurally in the speciality you’re interested in. The sheer scope of practice you’ll see, and the opportunity to be the only learner is just so valuable.
The I went to Ottawa for MFM, which I also really enjoyed. Ottawa is such a vibrant city, and it was really fun to play tourist in a way I haven’t in a while:
Being there for Remembrance Day was also really lovely.
Also, of course, there was the opportunity to EAT ALL THE FOOD 😉
Baker Street Cafe: highly recommend the cinnamon toast
And a shamefully wide other variety 😉
Lest we say I just ate on that rotation, I also really enjoyed the MFM clinic. I worked with basically a different doc every day, and it was really interesting to see some rare conditions and high risk scenarios that walked into our door. The Civic Campus is also a beautiful hospital, and the docs and the residents were all so lovely and friendly there.
My fertility medicine elective in London, ON is the one I’m finishing up now, and honestly it was the one I was least sure on what to expect. We only did 2 clinics of fertility medicine in our clinic week for core, and those were clinics of about 5 patients each. I’d always been interested in a Fertility fellowship, but core had kind of steered me away from that as it just hasn’t resonated with me. But this elective have genuinely been one of my favourite ones of all. It’s been utterly fascinating to see the variety of cases that have come in, and I’ve loved every minute.
It’s definitely been an elective of very drastic highs and lows for patient interactions. You’re either telling patients they are finally pregnant after they have tried so hard to have a child, or you’re telling them it’s failed, with very little in between. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays there is the Early Pregnancy Assessment Clinic, where patients largely with bleeding in pregnancy come to have a transvaginal ultrasound to see if they have miscarried. That clinic has been an incredible learning experience, not just from a medical perspective – though it has been from that way to, especially in using the transvaginal machine – but just as a human being. I know that what I’ve learned in those clinics will stay with me for the rest of my life. Also, the group of docs they have there is another fantastic group, and they really make what could be an emotionally tough clinic the amazing experience it is. This elective has definitely put Fertility medicine back onto my radar for the future, though I know that I’d want to practice in a city like this, where there is a lab and a large enough population to support a group like the one here.
From here, though, I get a whole month off to spend with my family, and although I’ve had an amazing time in London, I cannot wait for that. I’ve shared before how hard and isolating that burn out of medical school was for me, and I’m so grateful to be able to be in this better place, and have time to spend with the people I love, especially in the holiday season. Life passes by so quickly, and it’s so vital to take that time to just breathe and take it in.
So, tomorrow is the last day of my last elective in medical school.
At least I’m ending on a high note.