Today was the first real day of my third year of medical school. I started on my psychiatry rotation, and for the first four weeks, I am at a "locked up" facility. Basically, that means the patients are held there involuntarily, so they have pretty serious mental illnesses. I wasn't really nervous until yesterday, when they gave us training on how to escape choke-holds and what to do if patients try to rip our hair out/bite us/etc. Needless to say, I decided to wear my hair up!
I'm not going to lie, it's pretty scary walking down the halls. The patients are allowed to wander about and go where they wish, and as you walk down the halls, they stare at you, follow you, laugh creepily, etc. I felt like I was in a movie or something. It's pretty intense, but I absolutely love it so far. I think the patients are so fascinating, and I really enjoy interacting with them. Our offices have windows looking out to the courtyard in the middle of the facility, where patients are allowed supervised "outside time". I found it a bit comical that its like watching fish in a fish bowl. You have to be careful not to stare though, because they can see you through the windows!
The one thing that frustrated me a little was that I have absolutely no idea what I'm supposed to be doing day to day. I've heard that is the theme of third year. I think that is something I'm really going to struggle with on my clerkships. I am the kind of person who likes a little hand holding, and to be straight-out told what to do and when to do it. I'll do anything I'm told, I don't mind! But I hate when I have to try and figure out what I am supposed to be doing, especially when I am unclear what my role is as an MS3 on the team. Unfortunately, it's a little different for each rotation and each site, so I can see myself struggling with this all year. So that is stressing me out a little bit. I think part of it is that I just want to do well, and right now, I don't really know what I have to do in order to do that. I suppose I'll figure it out, everyone does.