Saturday, August 09, 2008

First Week

Started work this week. Well, for the most part, I was just shadowing colleagues to learn the ropes. But I started seeing my own patients yesterday.
Despite the 6 years of postgraduate training, I was anxious. Kinda like the first day of school. The medicine is the same, well, kinda.
But the challenge is to unlearn 6 years of systems habits, and to relearn a new hospital, charting, ordering and billing system. I had a few hours of teaching on how the electronic medical record system, the computers work. But I was seeing stars after the first hour. And naturally, I was apprehensive seeing my first patients yesterday.
They knew I was new and so for the most part was very understanding when I was slow to take notes (I'm used to dictating all my clinical notes; here they use self-entry templates).
I came back with a pretty bad migraine yesterday. Though thankfully I didn't keep my patients waiting too long; I was 20 mins behind after the first 2 patients, but caught up by the time I started on my last. I did, however, stay another 2 hours to update and complete my notes.
For a first week, it was tough, but not a nightmare. I have to say it went relatively okay. The learning curve is going to be pretty steep the first month or two, but eventually I'll get there.
Now though the medicine's supposed to be the same, I've learnt that outside of an academic institution, people pretty much do what they want, sometimes in totally different styles. I've picked up a few habits at my alma mater MC, but I'll have to adapt to the preferred styles at this new place.
As Dr. W, my mentor at MC had said, you learn the real art of medicine when you're finally out in practice.
For now, I'm just thankful the weekend's here...


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