Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Moment Has Finally Come

It was not long ago that I had hoped for more aha moments to clarify what to do with my career. Now on rotation out of state, it didn't take long for me to realize that I felt right at home. Perhaps not in relation to my living arrangement, but at least along the lines of a specialty, I know what I want to do. [Pictured: Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, Colton, CA]

My Aha!

I had prepared well in advance for this rotation and anticipated it with great excitement. Everyone with whom I spoke had positive things to say which only fueled the fire. All year I have been craving that feeling that told me this is the right specialty for me. Despite previous experience in emergency medicine, I left room for any specialty that could woo me throughout the year. Although some came close, none were successful. My first shift this week was late into the night and twelve hours long. Only a couple hours into the shift and I was hooked...again. Emergency medicine feels right and holds my interest, even at 3 o'clock in the morning when the conditions may be less than favorable.

It is one of the more exciting events of my third year, to walk to my car after a long day of work and feel just as enthusiastic to return the following day. There is a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment which are perhaps afforded by the instant gratification that the treatment of acute conditions can offer. It is fast paced, full of variety, and there is room to really make a difference. If you don't believe me, ask the patient we coded last night whose heart started again after CPR and a few medications. In only a couple of nights I have been exposed to horrific cancers, multiple stab wounds, and minor illnesses alike. Somewhere between the medicine and procedures the coolness of it all sinks in. How reassuring to have finally figured out my specialty, because I was starting to worry that nothing would stand out.

Question of the Week
A 28-year-old HIV-positive male complains of pain on swallowing. Physical examination is remarkable for white plaque-like material on his tongue and buccal mucosa, which is scraped and sent to the laboratory. Based on these findings, and on the laboratory results, the man is diagnosed with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). With which of the following agents is the man most likely infected?

A. Candida albicans
B. Cytomegalovirus
C. Herpes simplex I
D. Human herpesvirus 8
E. Human papilloma virus

Answer & Explanation


  1. Congrats on finding your place!

  2. woo! I start ER in July. Maybe I will see you around :)


  3. Thanks Beth! Any idea what you are going to do?

    Congrats Renee, which program will you be in?

  4. I will be at Arrowhead! I think we may be competing for one of those ER spots ;)


  5. Well, I wish you well during your rotation. There should be room for plenty here. I have really enjoyed the rotation thus far. There are great people to work with and the patient population has an abundance of pathology to learn from.


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