Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Learning Curve

As most of my colleagues in 3rd year at CCNM will be simultaneously pounding out the last details of their Relevant Clinical Inquiry Assignment (RCIA) due tomorrow morning, I have paused for a moment to reflect on the journey. Maybe I'm pacing myself, or still recovering from burn-out, but I just needed to take a moment and see the forest through the trees.

At this point in 3rd year, the focus is about checking off mandatory requirements before clinic in May. Number of clinic observation hours complete- check; number of patients - check; case management file - check; preceptorship hours - check; Gynecological practical exam - check; Male Genitourinary and DRE exams - check; RCIA - check. Check, check, check...It took a lot of planning ahead and coordination to get those checks while still managing to study and go to classes and I have certainly gained a tremendous amount of experience in the process.

Looking back, last year I needed to believe that 3rd year would be easier. Now it wasn't really easier, especially this final semester, but the learning curve was different. When I talk to my second year colleagues, I realize that the learning curve in second year is the steepest and sets a high standard of work ethic that just makes third year more manageable. Third year fills in the details and is the clinically relevant stepping stone that is required before we begin our internship in May. It is more practical and if I can relax enough to admit it, it is more fun! And, on that note, I have school work to get back to.

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