So this is it?
Last night I did my last call duty of internship – in Internal Medicine, of all things.
This morning, I finished my post-intake ward round, said a few unceremonious goodbyes, and walked out.
And off I went.
It feels a little anticlimactic, to be honest.
I walked into my first day of work so nervous that I trembled too much to place an IV.
A month later I cut my first c-section.
Two months after that I got a needle stick injury.
I learned to amputate fingers. I drilled into legs. I intubated so many times that I started dreaming (literally) about difficult airways.
I heard heart rate monitors in my head while falling asleep post-call.
I once walked out of a casualty theater having placed a chest tube, not remembering a single thing. But the patient was fine.
I walked through dark corridors, afraid.
I had patients who loved me and patients who hated me.
I had horrible days and I had wonderful days.
And I had some very challenging times too, especially recently; and I learned to ask for the help that was not readily available, but eventually found.
The past two years have been the biggest learning curve. And I have been lucky to be in a hospital where there is supervision as well as the opportunity to learn to practise independently.
I’ve changed in ways I can’t quite fathom yet.
I still wake up sometimes thinking, “Really? I’m a doctor?”
There is so much yet to learn.
I’m a little sad to leave all of this behind. To move on.
But I’m also excited for what lies ahead.
Tomorrow I leave for Cape Town, where I’ll be doing my year Community Service posting. I’ll be working with kids for the entire year, and I’m thrilled.
Here’s to the year ahead.