Hi friends. Guess what? Even though I did my Pediatrics rotation a while ago, I’ve managed to sneak my way onto another Pediatric service as part of the Neurology rotation. I so miss the fifth floor when I have to go other places. But this post is about what I do with my time when I’m not on the fifth floor.
I was whining to my fiance John last night about how it seems like I waste time and don’t get anything done – lamenting my time management skills. It seems like I get home, wind down a second, have some dinner and the next thing I know I’m supposed to go to sleep and I’ve barely had time to study.
This is the USMLE World Question Bank. We should probably hang out more than we do.
I presented a recent night as an example: I was in the hospital from 6 am to 5:30 ish, made it over to the gym for an exercise class, got home, and by the time I cleaned up and made dinner it was literally like 8 pm. And of course Criminal Minds was on and I got a little sucked in and even though I was simultaneously getting worked over by some Neurology questions it didn’t really feel like I accomplished anything.
So I was whining.
“So you’re saying you worked about 12 hours and went to the gym and you’re concerned because you didn’t get anything done?”
Oh. Right. I worked for 12 hours.
I think we forget sometimes that all the things we accomplish as part of the work day count too. I know I’m not alone in that – we really expect a lot of ourselves.
We expect that we should somehow be able to learn ALL the things on top of the long hours. When I don’t know the answer to a question when I’m on service I feel sad. Like it was my responsibility to find time to already have that memorized. It doesn’t matter what it is; it feels like I should know.
My ideally time-managed day from an academic perspective would probably not include anything fun because the hours of studying I would fit in would crowd out everything else. And that just doesn’t make sense.
Time management = Doing your best. And when you’ve watched some TV, took your time chopping up vegetables for dinner and gone to bed too late because you were reading something that’s not a textbook, that’s okay.
Because you work hard. And because medical school isn’t just about learning medicine – it’s a trial by fire of how to spend your time, and we’ll all make it. Right?