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It really does start to come back

Andrea Knittel
AMSA Member
6th Year MSTP
University of Michigan

Post #6 of the "Back to the Wards" series focusing on the transition from research years back to the medical school and clinical rotations.

It’s hard to believe I’m already at post #6 in this series. I’ve been averaging about one each month, which means that almost half a year has gone by. In that time I’ve done a lot of things to prepare me for my return to the medical school! I’ve scheduled a dissertation defense, written a dissertation (only edits and formatting left…), and worked with two different internal medicine attendings to try to remember how to be a medical student. Believe it or not, I think that the last item on that list has been the most anxiety provoking. Something I can tell you for sure, however, is that it really does come back. Something else I can tell you is that apparently anything can feel normal after you try it a few times. If you had told me just a few weeks ago that I would casually walk up to one of the nursing stations in University Hospital, have someone help me identify a patient, and then take a reasonably competent history and perform a slow and imperfect, but adequate physical exam, I would have laughed at you. If you had said that I would attempt to present this information to an attending I would have cried. So take heart, whether you are simply making the transition from the pre-clinical years to working on the wards, or you are working to regain the skills you had before a break, because it all really does come back.

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