Day in a Resident's Life

5:30am: Good morning world. Internal dialogue- "Why do I always feel this mild fatigue when I open my eyes? I really need to go to bed like, 45 minutes earlier. That's it. Other than that, you're doing great. Today will be a wonderful day!" I then jump into the shower and jump out, stomping around the house, inevitably waking up my husband who doesn't work until 10am. Sorry about that..

6:00am: While making breakfast (something simple; either eggs with veggies or protein oats with berries) I'm drinking lukewarm coffee made the night before to minimize delays in the morning. I like to catch up on social media and e-mails first thing in the morning while eating breakfast.  I then finish getting ready and leave the house by 6:20am (running back in because I forgot to feed the animals.. oops.)

*Intermission for Bulletproof Coffee Podcast.. or Regina Spektor on my drive to work*

^That's my chief! Looking at one us like thinking.. "nope, not on the right track :-P"

^That's my chief! Looking at one us like thinking.. "nope, not on the right track :-P"

7:00am: roll into morning report for an hour of case presentations.  As a case is presented (by us, the residents), we work through all aspects: differentials, initial workup and management, hospital course, treatment, etc. Our first case described a patient with methotrexate toxicity (a medication used for a myriad of diseases including rheumatoid arthritis) in the absence of folic acid supplementation.  In the second case, we talked about the presentation & management of an elderly, confused gentleman who ingested mass quantities of baking soda and developed subsequent metabolic abnormalities. Morning report is undoubtedly our most valuable educational tool; our program director along with another attending and chief resident help guide us through the cases. Despite not taking care of the patients directly, we get the opportunity for exposure to a breadth of medical cases and thus if it comes up again, we feel comfortable managing.

8:00am: The glory of being on elective, I get another hour of education :-) I'm on infectious disease this week and we have a curriculum lecture on Tuesday mornings. The ID fellow and current residents on service get a lecture on prion disease, a group of diseases related to abnormal protein folding.  Historically, "Mad Cow Disease" and Kuru would fall into this category. It's exceptionally rare, but interesting nonetheless!

We got a Starbucks coffee machine installed in our lounge and my coffee consumption increased by ~250%...

We got a Starbucks coffee machine installed in our lounge and my coffee consumption increased by ~250%...

9:00am: I start to run around the hospital, seeing follow-up patients that we saw yesterday and a few new consults.  This includes speaking to and examining the patients, checking their labs and chart, and writing follow-up notes.  During this time I'm known to maybe, most definitely take a coffee break and hide my cup in the nurses station...

11:00am: 1st set of rounding with our attending to present and discuss our patients, and see them with her.  We start to hear about new consults that we will see and round on later.  Our attending makes a point to teach a little bit for every patient (I love this!) and finds reading assignments for us to present on the next day.

12:30pm: Noon conference, on a different topic every day.  We have food provided for us but since it's often pizza, I almost always bring my own lunch. I keep all my stuff in our lounge, so I run there to pick up lunch before booking it to conference.  Today our pulmonary attending gives us an excellent prepared lecture on ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome.) Having just finished my ICU rotation, I actually feel pretty confident in this topic and it's a wonderful lecture to strengthen my memory. 

Team Infectious Disease this week (but missing one other lady from this picture.. girl power as always around here!)

Team Infectious Disease this week (but missing one other lady from this picture.. girl power as always around here!)

1:30pm:  We reconvene and round on the new consults, then sit down for more teaching. Internal dialogue: "My attendings and co-residents are really smart and I need to read more, even though I read a lot already."  I love that this is my environment, that I feel "somewhere in the middle" in terms of my medical knowledge. It motivates me to never be complacent!

5:00pm: I'm on elective, which means I'm typically out of the hospital by 5pm daily (oh the glory!) I get to my car and bear the rush hour traffic, but still get to my suburb in less than 30 minutes.  * Eats maple glaze pecan & sea salt Kind Bar while driving.* I OBVIOUSLY have to stop at Trader Joe's before getting home, let's be real. You all know how much I love grocery shopping and go 3+ times per week! It means my food is always fresh and I always have tasty healthy options at home.

6:00pm: walk into my front door to my husband (who's already back from work) and my dog just so very happy to see me :-) I go straight to the kitchen where there's some sort of veggie dish cooking and I start snacking away, debriefing the day with Andrew. We obsess over feeding treats to our dog, watch funny Youtube videos, and just relax/eat. Over the years I've truly become such a homebody despite my extroverted nature, and it's because we've created a home of our own that we love. 

7:00pm: I do a strict ~50 minute session of reading (usually turning my phone off for this.) Today it's on a topic we addressed during rounds (disseminated Nocardia infection) and I diligently try to gather information on it because tomorrow I'll share this with my co-residents & attending. My resources are typically UptoDate, NEJM, Harrison's, and MKSAP.  These are the bread & butter for my internal medicine education!

8:00pm: I finally convince myself to work out (not because I don't love to, but because I'm initially too lazy to change into exercise clothes.)  In the winter I'm known to hibernate and do mostly home workouts (but that does not mean they're less intense!) We have a few kettlebells and varying dumbbell weights, a jumprope, a yoga mat, & a box jump. That's really all I need for these killer 15-20 minute crossfit-esque workouts I've been doing as of late.  It's also so amazing how much time I save by not driving to my gym (and when you're trying to do it all.. 15 minutes of driving is just such a waste.)

8:45pm: A little more reading, a little more social media, a few more dog cuddles, then I'm all ready for bed prep.  I eat a snack every night immediately before sleeping ( since we eat dinner so early) and it usually includes some fruit and nut butter or hummus and veggies. I hate going to bed even slightly hungry.

10:00pm: in my bed! We recently got a new one and it basically changed our entire life. I had no idea what a high quality bed would do for uninterrupted sleep! I suddenly don't feel the need to pee in the middle of the night and it's AWESOME.  So, I sleep peacefully (despite maybe wanting that extra hour every night, it simply doesn't happen.) I wake up ~7 hours later for another awesome, beautiful day :-)

So basically, my days revolve around medicine, learning, food, my husband, and dog. Not at all glamorous, and it varies day to day especially depending on my rotation. Additionally, I try to hang out with my co-residents ~once/week outside of the hospital when our schedules permit.. but during the week it's usually too busy for most of us. The relaxed nature of this day pales in comparison to our busier services. Some days I can't believe I get paid to show up and LEARN while other days I'm overwhelmed with responsibility. It's important to see both the hard and the happier days though, ya know? <3 Hope this provided a little insight!

Love Always,

Shanny D.O.