It is the beginning of my next journey. After 2 long years of study and work (and 1 year of a sabbatical of volunteering and work), I am finally at the beginning of clerkship. Never before have I been so excited, nor so terrified. Terricited, if you will.

For those of you reading who may not be familiar with medical school terminology, ‘clerkship’ refers to the last 2 (or around 2) years of medical school in Canada where we assume clinical responsibility. Whereas the first two years is mostly theory with some clinical practice, the last two years is mostly clinical practice with application of that theory that we desperately learnt during the first two years.

For the first two years, the worst thing that can happen is that you fail an exam. The thing about that is that the consequences begin and end with you. If you fail an exam, then you re-write it, and learn that information that you might not have known well enough.

In clerkship, however, the consequences do not end with you. You are responsible for patient care. Although you should be getting overseen by somebody more responsible and knowledgable than yourself, mistakes can happen. Things can slip through the cracks. You can hurt somebody. That is terrifying beyond measure.

However, it is also so much closer to real medicine than the first two years. Finally, you are practicing and experiencing medicine. You can talk to patients, and help them cope, and maybe catch something that might have been missed. You can spend time with patients, and learn their stories, and be there for them. That is exciting beyond belief.

I begin my first rotation tomorrow. This is the beginning of my clerkship journey.

 

Now, before I leave, a disclaimer of what this new section of the blog will be, and more importantly, what it won’t be.

This will be a blog where I share my thoughts, my reflections, and my beliefs. This will NOT, however, be a blog that will contain ANY details of any patients, doctors, classmates, or anything else identifying of anybody I meet. The only exception to this will be if I have the absolute and ethical permission of those involved.

Hope you have fun reading.