I had a really hard time deciding on the type of residency I wanted to pursue.
Before I started medical school, most of my volunteer experiences were oriented towards working with children. So many, in fact, that while I was on Internal Medicine residency interviews people correctly guessed that I started out with an interest in Pediatrics.
Internal medicine was my second rotation of 3rd year and we had three blocks of it back to back. I liked my first block of the rotation quite a bit, but the other two blocks left me with a strong distaste for inpatient medicine. I couldn’t really put my finger on what had me feeling that way. Funny enough, I almost completely ruled it out as a potential interest after completing my third block of medicine.
I went on next to my OBGYN rotation and I absolutely fell in love with delivering babies and seeing OB patients in the clinic. I eventually ruled it out as a potential choice because I realized that I didn’t really care for any of the gynecological cases and the only time I was okay with being in the OR was to experience the excitement of a c-section.
I was really excited to start my Pediatrics rotation but that faded away rather quickly. The entirety of my rotation was outpatient pediatrics and parents who refused to vaccinate seemed all too abundant. That paired with the fact that I had a tough time dealing with sick kids day in and day out led me to rule this out as well.
During the following block I finally felt like I had found my niche during my Family Medicine rotation. It was so fun to deal with a variety of things on a daily basis and to have the opportunity to do procedures during the day as well. Feeling confident that I would pursue FM I scheduled my elective for the following block to be an FM rotation as well.
When I started my elective in Family Medicine at a different hospital, I was baffled that they had me on some inpatient service during my second week of the rotation. Apparently, FM docs ran their own inpatient service in this hospital and I would be forced to spend one week experiencing this in addition to my 3 weeks in the FM clinic.
This was quite possibly one of the best things that could have happened to me. Basically, I discovered that I loved Internal Medicine while on the FM inpatient service. I loved the way rounds were conducted at this hospital and the people on this team were so kind about taking the time to teach me. I feel like my earlier experiences in Internal Medicine may have been negatively affected by my lack of experience and other factors. I started to re-evaluate my prior experiences on Internal Medicine a bit more objectively and I came to a conclusion: I loved the crux of inpatient medicine.
After this I had two blocks of surgery (nope, not even a consideration) and a block of outpatient Internal Medicine with a geriatrics component. By the end of my third year I was certain that I wanted to pursue Internal Medicine and I knew that I wanted to always be in the hospital in some capacity.
I love the fact that Internal Medicine has so many different options for fellowship that can either be light or heavy on procedures. I also loved that as an Internist you would be dealing with all systems as a whole rather than focusing on only one. The biggest pro of hospital medicine for me is that you get to talk to your patients for as long as you want and as often as you want. Making connections with patients and having the opportunity to establish a rapport during their time of need is my favorite aspect of medicine and I personally felt that Internal Medicine met my interests.
In no way do I mean to insult any other professions in this post, I have a lot of appreciation for what others do! The process of figuring out what was important to me was really quite confusing and I didn’t know what I wanted to do for a major part of my third year. I think that if you have a field you are more inclined towards, it would be a good idea to try to do a rotation in that field in as many different hospitals as you possibly can.
Overall, I’m quite happy about my choice and am extremely excited to jump into this field on July 1st!
Thanks for reading!