Major Life Decisions On The Road

When I originally started writing this blog post, I went into excruciating depth about my inner turmoil deciding between psychiatry and family medicine – about the uncertainty, anxiety, insomnia, and my appreciation for both fields. Deciding between the two was truly a win-win situation, and I think anyone can understand how difficult it is to think you are going down one path for ten years only to realize you prefer something else along the way. An hour-long stroll along the Riverwalk in San Antonio at 98 degrees can help with introspective thought and major life decisions…just make sure you have a water bottle and snow cone handy. The teaching point is that I always need to remain open-minded and flexible to new opportunities, because I am truly grateful for changing my career course.

Since my last post, I alternated rotations in psychiatry and family medicine. I wrote a book chapter on childhood-onset schizophrenia for my capstone project, rotated at Fort Belvoir for family medicine, rotated at San Antonio Military Medical Center for psychiatry, and realized that family medicine is the better fit for my personality and career goals. I quickly changed my rotation schedule around to allow for time at Scott Air Force Base (AFB) and Eglin AFB to check out two more locations for family medicine. It has been a fantastic 14 weeks thus far rotating in psychiatry and family medicine, and I am beyond excited for a career in family medicine in the military. Thank you to all of the wonderful people I spent the last few rotations with!

Sometimes, I find myself grieving for what I’ll miss about psychiatry – long appointment times with patients, neurophysiology of psychiatric conditions, and treating thought disorders. Bright side, I will see plenty of behavioral health in family medicine and get the full latitude of primary medical health care. I enjoy diverse chief complaints and having a broad scope of knowledge. I love learning something new with nearly every patient encounter, even when the presenting problem seems entirely straightforward. Family medicine challenges my mind, keeps me engaged, and managed to warp the culture of medicine to a positive learning environment focused on patient care.

Time keeps flying by, and the rumors are true that fourth-year medical school is a wonderful year compared to third-year. I have gotten involved in way too many activities and projects, am planning vacations/weekend adventures galore, and am looking forward to wintertime when I will take a break from traveling and enjoy my time at home. I have been in 15 states since April with a successful road trip to Florida this past weekend (Hurricane Irma decided to stay out of my way!). Cheers to making major life decisions! T minus 3 months until I know where Andrew and I will be for the next 3 years!

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