As of today's pediatrics shelf exam, Dr. D is officially a fourth year medical student.
I remember standing in the muggy summer weather on Navy Pier three years ago, taking in Chicago and the prospect of life in the Midwest, and thinking that it felt like his MD was such a distant goal---a slip of paper so far in the future that it was nearly impossible to imagine what life would be like once he'd obtained it.
Today, I can't believe that it's less than a year away.
Third year was probably my favorite year of medical school yet, and I'm sure it was Dr. D's also. I liked it because it never felt stagnant. There always seemed to be something for Dr. D to be excited about, and while there was a significant amount of studying that went on, it was nothing like the cramming that devoured our social life during 2nd year. And for someone who didn't come into medical school with any true expectation of what his specialty would be, Dr. D relished in the opportunity to sample the wide range of medicine throughout his core rotations.
Personally, I just loved seeing how jazzed he was to have true, constructive contact with real patients. This was the year when I really got to see it: my husband treating people. My husband, as a doctor.
Gosh, he's gonna be good at this.
I anticipate that the biorhythm of fourth year will go something like this:
- Total relaxation (we leave tomorrow on a vacation to visit my parents in Texas)
- Emotional angst (once we get back from vacation, Dr. D will be gone on away rotations for three months solid)
- Jubilation (Dr. D's return in mid-September coupled with a low-key 4th year school schedule)
- Extreme stress (residency interviews)
- Carefree, hedonistic abandon (attempting to complete our bucket-list after realizing we don't have much more time left here)
- Nail-biting anxiety (leading up to Match Day)
- Cathartic release (Match Day)
- Excitement with a twinge of sadness (finding a new place to live, a new job for me, and preparing to leave behind our first home and friends we've made as a married couple)
- Sweat (moving)
- Peace (new beginnings)