SECOND HALF OF PGY-4 YEAR
My time in residency is quickly drawing to a close as I am now down to my remaining few days as a resident. While diploma is now officially in hand, I have a few more days of elective to sharpen a few more skills before moving on to my fellowship in spinal cord injury. The last six months has been quite a bit busier then I initially expected heading into the final leg of residency, however it was well worth it. Clinically, I wrapped up a great O&P experience, was able to get back into the fluoro suite for my last spine rotation, knock out some more EMG/spasticity management during my electives, and dusted off my inpatient skills with my final rotation on 6A (our inpatient unit). The 6A experience was incredibly valuable given it was my first time on our newly established formal cancer rehab service. I was able to not only pick the brain of one of the newest leaders in this field, Dr. Sean Smith, but also dig deeper into cancer rehab as it relates to spinal cord and brain involvement which will be completely up my ally going forward.
While clinical work certainly kept me busy, I think the things that prompted the greatest challenge over the past few months was my preparation for my capstone grand rounds as well as re-writing a SCI chapter for the mainstay pediatric rehab textbook. This was my first foray into book/chapter writing mode and it was certainly a learning experience. I definitely tip my hat to anyone who takes on writing a chapter from scratch or writing a book on any subject matter. It is a lot of work! While not completely finished up with the chapter (it is currently with the editors who will …hmm…hopefully be merciful on this inexperienced writer) it is officially out of my hands for the time being with all of the content included. We are hoping to complete edits this summer with the updated book out next year which I am thrilled about. My grand rounds, in which I spoke about ambulation after a spinal cord injury, came shortly after this, and I’ll say that I may have had a nice cold adult beverage once both of these projects were completed. These projects were time consuming, but extremely rewarding to work on.
Outside of work, we had a great season in our residency/faculty city rec hoops team. Well, when I say great season, we were better than the previous year and had tons of fun! We were just under .500, but games were competitive and it was a blast integrating residents, our resident assistant, therapists, a rehab psychologist, and a few faculty. Bonding time with the rehab team is never a bad thing. We also celebrated the marriages of not one, not two, but three of our resident colleagues. Lots of dancing and lots of smiles. All in all, this has been a great way to go out.
Cory Wernimont, MD
SECOND HALF OF PGY-3 YEAR
The second half of my PGY3 year was blessed with tapering off call. I found myself suddenly quite interested in spinal cord injury and had a great time on inpatient. Amazing what sleeping does. I felt more comfortable in my final pediatrics rehab rotation, and was really grateful that I got to work with Dr. Pruente to learn about how we can help neonates who are at risk for CP and other developmental disorders. I started developing interest in adaptive sports at the VA after working with Dr. Tinney, seeing all the options, and getting involved. I'm now nearing the end of my O&P rotation, which I've also enjoyed. Dr. Kelly is an excellent teacher.
Kimbie Casten, MD
SECOND HALF OF PGY-2 YEAR
The second half of this year has been a whirlwind. I now have more than half of our core inpatient rotations under my belt! I feel incredibly more confident in the evaluation and management of rehabilitation issues related to stroke, cancer, brain injury, amputation and spinal cord injury. The inpatient environment and overnight call have challenged me to think critically and trust my medical knowledge, as well as my clinical suspicion and the other members of my treatment team. I can sense the growth I've gone through.
Inpatient rehabilitation truly embodies a community of interdisciplinary collaboration and I find relief in our collective focus on a patient's function and quality of life. We guide patients on a path to greater independence and we coach their loved ones to feel more confident in their care. It is truly one of the most beautiful, awe-inspiring things to see patients and their families not only survive horrendous injuries, but triumph over them. At the end of the day, despite the toils of the EMR and the battles with insurance companies, we really have one of the coolest jobs.
I am also so grateful for the support of my co-residents and attendings throughout this past year. We make things fun and carry each other through stressful times with comedic relief and teamwork. I look forward to starting PGY3 in a few weeks! Also, I happened to get married during PGY2 year, which shows how life still continues despite the sometimes hectic schedule of residency.
Laura Mattson, DO