A Day in the Life of an Intern on ENT Rotation
James Turner, MD
The anesthesiology categorical intern year here at Wake Forest is the total package. The experience provides ample opportunity to acquire necessary knowledge that will be the foundation for learning during the clinical anesthesia years, while at the same time being a manageable experience that does not overwhelm. The intern year is composed of two surgical rotations (ENT and Vascular), Cardiology, Arrythmia, MICU, Blood Bank/Pulm Consults, NICU, Pediatrics, Emergency Medicine, OBGYN, General Med C, and Hem-Onc.
Early in the intern year, my suspicions were confirmed, I am not a morning person. At least, I did not start internship as a morning person, but it gradually grew on me. Mornings on ENT began at 5:30. The list was prepared and “Lightning Rounds” began at 6:00 where the other intern and I split up and put the orders in, helped write the morning notes, and wrote down things to be done later in the day. At breakfast, the list was run, discharges were planned, and the day began to slow down significantly. Then, it was back up to the floor to finish up notes and work for the day, which was typically finished by 10:00 or 11:00am.
The advantage of the ENT rotation is the flexibility inherently provided by the daily schedule. As the majority of work is done early in the day, this frees up the time to see a tremendous amount of airway anatomy. For example, on Mondays and Wednesdays, there exists the opportunity of going to clinic in the afternoon to shadow one of our laryngologists who scope almost every one of the fifteen patients they see in a half day. While there is plenty of normal anatomy to be seen, there is also plenty of pathology to be seen, including laryngeal papillomas, vocal cord paralysis, and laryngoceles to name a few. I should also mention that, while never required during the rotation, venturing down to the operating room also provided great learning experiences. I was able to observe and participate in tracheostomies, observe nasal and oral fiberoptic intubations, and again to see both normal and very abnormal airway anatomy.
Though the days began early on ENT, I was home to my wife and daughter by 5:00pm or earlier most days. There were no call days during the week, two weekends were completely off, and two weekends I split the day with the other intern. More importantly, the residents on the ENT service are some of the kindest. Not once did I feel like an “off-service Intern” and every day I was encouraged to pursue things that were pertinent to my education as an anesthesiology intern.
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|Left photo-Turner Family participating in the 3rd Annual Matt Gfeller Memorial 5K Run in the Buena Vista neighborhood of Winston-Salem. Center photo - Jimmy, Kristen, and daughter Grace at Old Salem. Right Photo - Turner Family at W-S Dash baseball game.|
One thing can be said for sure, after an educational and well spent month on ENT, I am still working on those mornings not feeling quite so early!
James D. Turner, MD