Well, it’s that time of year again. Time to give up the summer fun and freedom and head back to school. For me, this first day is different than all the rest of the many first days I’ve had in the past. It’s the first day back to school where I won’t be going back to a classroom! Okay, yeah, there is some classroom stuff in orientation before we get to go on the wards, but that’s okay. Aside from this, my learning is now going to be on the wards, not in a classroom! I am so excited to start learning by doing and getting to participate in the care of real patients.
Underneath the gleam of my excitement there remains some lingering nervousness, but I think that’s okay. Sometimes a little bit of nervousness is good because it keeps us alert and on our toes. Some of my worries are teensy and trivial (Where do I go to change into scrubs? What if I forget to bring a pen?), but I know that these will dissipate soon after starting.
I tried to think about what I am most looking forward to for clerkship and I think the answer is people. I am excited to meet new people everyday – whether that’s colleagues, preceptors, or patients. Interacting with and working with people is what fuels me and inspires me, so I am pretty pumped to be doing that on the daily in clerkship. I really feel that my experiences both with PREP and the Reproductive Health Externship have prepared me for a smooth entry into clerkship. I’m sure there will still be some bumps along the way, but as they say, smooth sailing never made for a skilled sailor!! (Casual inspirational quote mid-blog post.)
I’ve taken some time to think about what my personal goals for clerkship are and so far, I have two broad goals that I think can be applied not only to clerkship but also to life in general. One goal of mine is to remember to see the silver lining – situations are bound to arise that are less than ideal and I think it’s important to be able to find the good in every situation. Another one is to maintain balance in my life. I know all too well how easy it is to slip into the habit of putting everything else off for the sake of studying. There is always more to study, but I’ve learned that this is not a good enough reason to let go of doing the things I love and that bring me joy like going to karate or the gym or seeing my friends. I’m hopeful that by being mindful of my time and staying organized, I can find the balance that I need to feel happy and be at my best. Of course, I have many other goals that are more specific and more clinically oriented, but these two that I’ve just mentioned are the overarching ones that will help me achieve all the others.
Overall, I am looking forward to getting into the swing of clerkship. Stay tuned for my next post to see how it goes!