It has been a few weeks b.c I’ve been busy getting schooled on my GI rotation. Currently I’m on an internal medicine rotation with a GI doctor that also does some PCP care. So that means in the morning I’m in the hospital doing {read: holding the scope and pushing it when I see lumen and holding heads of sedated patients undergoing EGD’s…not really DOING them…but close for me :-)} doing colonoscopies and EGD’s and ERCPs etc…

After the procedures are done for the morning, we eat lunch in the cafeteria (free…yes, this is something that students are very easily swayed by, FREE FOOD). After lunch it’s off to the clinic just a few minutes away and we’re pretty busy every day with GI patients and PCP patients alike.

Let’s go back to the first week. When I started this rotation, I had 3 under my belt: surgery in June, Family Medicine inpatient in July and Family medicine outpatient just prior in January. That means that I had a solid 4.5 months in between with NO rotations, NO medicine (other than the medicine I can include in my teaching of OMM). To add to it, this was my FIRST internal medicine rotation…um…that means this rotation covers pretty much every body system [with an emphasis on GI, obviously, but b.c he does primary too…that means everything] that means anemias….to fibromyalgia….to colon cancer…. to asthma….to dermatology. The translation: I am WAY BEHIND!!

I knew that doing the fellowship would cause me to be a little behind when I started back on rotations. But because this was my first year of rotations and I literally had 3 rotations under my belt…it has been a little extreme with the learning curve. What I didn’t realize coming into this rotation…this doc has a reputation. He is well-known for not sugar coating anything and pushing his students to be great. That is AMAZING and I love it so far, BUT, that means that most of the day I’m fearful of what he’ll ask me and what I won’t know. The first week was by far the worst.

I cried 3 times that week in my car. I’d leave the office, start the car, and let the tears come. It was a combination of fear, feeling stupid, and disappointment in myself. I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself and I definitely recognize this as a learning experience that I’m really lucky to have. However, that being said, this is not my ideal learning situation. When he pressures me for an answer on something that I know…even though I know it/have JUST looked it up/literally written a paper on it…I can’t answer his question b.c I freeze inside.

Fortunately, I think he likes me. The atmosphere has improved and I feel like he sees my effort and can see me working hard to learn. It helps that at least 5 of my patients have commented to him how much they like me and want me as their doctors [it’s always the older folks! I just have a deep love for the grandparents, maybe geriatrics is my future?!]

So here we are, week 3, and I’m loving GI. I don’t LOVE the smell of poop during messy colonoscopies, I don’t LOVE the farting during procedures with watery diarrhea, and I don’t particularly LOVE that EGD’s are really uncomfortable for a lot of people. What I do love, though, is teaching/learning/and counseling on GI stuff! I have IBS and have that in common with so many patients. I love that I can understand them and can relate and really sympathize with what they’re going through. I am also starting to love the technical part of the job with procedures. I REALLLLLLLY want to get my hands on a colonoscopy and do it solo.

Basically there’s a scope and then there’s a ‘wheel’ that we drive it with, meaning there’s a handheld device that we hold with the hand not pushing the scope in. This device can turn the scope [which has a bent end], can suction, take pics, and send water out over the surface of the colon. I’m still a little confused on the hand-scope-colon coordination and obviously don’t think I’ll really ‘get’ that until I do one myself…b.c sometimes he’s in the sigmoid colon and I think he’s already in the transverse…but the reality is that some people have really TWISTY colons πŸ™‚ and it just takes a long time to navigate through.

The other day we did several in the morning [including two possible cases of c.difficile, and they were very graphic compared to the ones that are simply for screening] and that evening, I’m sure as an aftermath of seeing so many colonoscopies, I had a dream I was having one! And get this…………it was AMAZING, ha! In my dream I was SO happy and so well-rested from the sedation, lol. I woke up confused, but happy that my vision of my colonoscopy experience is going to be so good πŸ™‚

Tomorrow will be another long morning, I’m excited to see what we’ll get to do! {I just want to say, I’m so thankful for this rotation. My last one was a break compared to this and gave me no opportunity to see patients, this one is a HUGE learning experience and I’m seeing tons of patients each day, it’s awesome}

On a side note…my dog child had his anal gland surgery 2 weeks ago. He’s now completely healed and happy as could be. Thank goodness! For a few days he was totally out of it!