By the end of residency, I had gotten pretty comfortable at work. My knowledge base was good; I knew how to manage most of the common conditions and many of the uncommon; and I understood the system and how to get shit done. It was nice to be in a position of feeling competent.
Enter fellowship. Suddenly I'm the person called on when no one else knows what's going on, despite the fact that I've spent a grand total of four days on the inpatient hepatology service to date. Why is the patient with a rare immunodeficiency disorder in fulminant hepatic failure, Solitary? I dunno. What should we do for the patient with a biliary obstruction who has failed every known intervention? I dunno. What are the features of this liver disorder that is so rare that none of the staff hepatologists have ever seen it? I dunno. I don't know the answers to the basic questions, let alone to all of the fine print questions that I'm getting consulted about on a regular basis.
The worst part is that the workload right now is far greater than I've had to deal with in quite a while. I have busy clinics (with the associated joy of dictating and reviewing dictations and distributing dictations and BLOODY DICTATIONS COMING OUT MY ASS), and we have been getting slammed with consults. I have yet to leave the hospital before 6:30 this week, and when I drag my tired self home there is still a never ending pile of articles and guidelines to try to read. And I've started studying for my licensing exam, which means a whole other level of busyness and stress.
I hate my life right now. I know that this will get better, but probably not until my licensing exam is over in 10 months. I miss my life of a few weeks ago, when I was still somewhat ignorant of the horrible, terrible, no good, very bad days that lie ahead of me.