So before January 2011 is over, I thought it might actually be nice to take a look back at 2010. XD Yes, yes, I know I am very behind on the whole "recap 2010" post, but I thought the last year just brought so many changes that I couldn't go without being revisited a little.
When I think back to January, I was just starting the second half of my clinical rotations to finish up school. It almost feels like another life by this point. My first rotation of that semester was Internal Medicine. I often felt it was an exercise in speed - how much information could I gather and tie together about the patients before having to present in the afternoon? I learned a great deal during those six weeks. It was also my first rotation where there was another student from school with me, and having someone to gripe with was a huge comfort.
The second six-week period saw me going to a community pharmacy attached to the hospital. This was probably my second-favorite rotation (after the Psych rotation I took in 2009). If all community pharmacy work was as rewarding and fulfilling as the time I spent there, the choice between hospital and community would have been much harder. But I also discovered just how tired standing for 8-10 hours a day can be.
For my final rotation, I returned to the hospital where I had done Internal Medicine. However, this time around, it was definitely not a good learning experience. Aside from just wanting to be done with rotations at that point, I found the work to be of little value to my learning. The preceptor was a strange, strange lady who issued the vaguest instructions I've ever heard. Then she had the nerve to call me "needy" during my final evaluation because I asked for further clarification. Is wanting to do something right the first time wrong? NO.
Haha...looks like I still have issues regarding that final rotation! Again, I had a student with me who had been with this preceptor before, and she thankfully helped to clarify things for me a great deal. Anyway, I'm seriously glad I didn't get a residency at this facility, because this preceptor was also the residency program director. I'm not sure I could have handled a year of vague instructions and general weirdness.
But in all fairness...this was the rotation where I got to watch open-heart surgery, which was totally rad.
I should also note that all three of my second semester rotations were at a hospital that had off-site parking and a shuttle service - something my fellow students and I absolutely loathed by the end. I can't tell you how many times I had to stand in the cold rain because the shuttle would be driving away as I came out of the parking structure.
After finishing up rotations came review week at school - basically one last chance to sit in our lecture halls again and listen to speakers while everyone chatted and surfed the internet. XD
Of course, after that came Graduation on May 15th, 2010. I officially got my doctorate and finished school. Still, even now - eight months later - it feel weird writing that. School has been my life for...well...my life. Coming out of something so structured into the rather nebulous "real life" has been strange. I miss the comforting solidity and framework of working toward something greater with a purpose. After getting a job (even one that I enjoy) I'm kind of wondering...what next?
So summer was spent studying for my boards from the time I finished graduated until around mid July. I even snuck in a nice vacation to Seattle and the islands in there (visiting the cousin and relaxing with the family). But those interminable days days studying really felt endless. To help keep me sane, I would reward every two hours of studying with an episode of She-Ra (which I completed over the summer), Fantastic Four World's Greatest Heroes, Iron Man Armored Adventures, or Star Trek DS9. It felt like a weird combination of long past summer vacations and taking self-study summer school. XD
Thankfully, I passed both tests on the first go. I've been debating taking the tests to be able to practice in another state, which if I decide to go forward with should be something I undertake sooner rather than later. The further I go on, the harder it will be to force myself back into reviewing the material and going through the rigmarole of taking another test/forms/fees/etc.
Summer also saw an explosion in my toy collecting hobby. Something I attribute to lots of time at home to hunt stores, eBay, and read internet reviews. Also may have had something to do with getting money for graduation. :D
Likely pent-up retail therapy after having no income since February after leaving CVS.
I got my license on August 5th, 2010. At that point, I gave myself until the end of August to look exclusively for hospital jobs. After thirty-odd applications, by the end of the month I had an interview set up for a not-quite-hospital job (the only non-hospital job I applied for). After that interview, I had set another one up with a hospital (the place I work now). But in the meantime, pharmacy 1 offered me a job (part-time for up to six months, then full time). I asked for an extension to think it over and was up front that I had the second interview. After being offered the job where I am now, I accepted and had to call back pharmacy 1 to decline their offer. That was an incredible weird experience. I've always had to fight for part-time jobs...so having to turn someone down was something I'd never done before.
The time between taking the job offer (early September) and starting the job (October 4th) was another strange period. During that month I looked for apartments (and finally found a decent townhouse!), hunted for furniture, signed tons of papers, packed up my toys/books/life, and watched some more shows. It was a frenetic month to try and get everything ready for the move, and yet I didn't really feel all that stressed. Maybe because I knew I had at least gotten a job, I was able to savor a few of my final days of freedom.
Anyway, work is where I've been ever since October. I still visit home at least once a month (heh...if not more often!). It's hard to leave a place you've lived since second grade, after all.
So I hope that 2011 brings good things. I have plans to do some writing (namely, finish my Jewel Riders fic, writing an original novella, and hopefully doing some Dragon Flyz writing). I also want to really take the time now to develop healthy eating habits and lose some weight. Since I make most all of my food, it should be easier to implement healthier choices more often. And of course, 2011 will see me continue the growth of my toy collection! :D