On nights

This week of nights has been good to me. The past few days felt more like a vacation than the beginning of the end for Internal Medicine.

The night shift for medical students lasts from 8p to 7a. Depending on your resident physician, you may serve the whole 11hr shift or you may spend a mere hour. My time reflected the latter with my residents showing me one or two cool cases and then releasing me to sleep.

Arrive home anywhere between midnight and 2a. Crash and then wake up around 10a. Then, I have the whole day to myself.

Lazy mornings filled with reading and stretching. In the afternoon, I head over to a friend’s place to float for a few hours before another night. Return home and prepare to leave as my partner and housemates return from clinic and wind down.

This time alone has been wonderful. I forget how much more human interaction I have because of the days in the clinic. The small talk with and presentations to my attending physicians. The focus required to interview patients while taking notes. Quick questions for the staff. I went from the Step Cave to the Clinic Corral.

On the flip side, this shift has challenged a close connection with my partner. During her week of nights into mine, we would have together a few hours in the early morning and a few hours at night. One would be leaving and the other arriving, then vice versa. We snuggle, pretending that one doesn’t need to sleep or the other doesn’t need to begin packing for clinic. It resembled a long-distance relationship in some ways. Maintaining our partnership through this odd shift has been a struggle. We are stronger together for it.

I have two more weeks of Internal Medicine remaining. I return to the inpatient setting tomorrow. I plan to escape during the afternoon to witness the partial Solar Eclipse.

This coming weekend, I will head up to NH via flight and rental car for a bachelor party with college buddies. The following week, we have our Shelf exam that wraps up the 12wk rotation. Then after Labor Day, Neurology and Psychiatry begin.

I will enjoy my time with friends in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

That is, as long as I study diligently over the next two weeks.


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