Now having spent the first two weeks of my PGY-2 year in radiation oncology, I think I can say pretty confidently that I'm in the right specialty. And that's more of a relief than you can imagine.
|and I have a desk now which makes me so happy (I know, our residents' room is overdue for some tidying)|
To be honest, I've spent the majority of this rotation feeling in over my head. And I'm sure that won't end anytime soon. I'm clueless when asked how many centigray I would prescribe or whether we should use two or four radiation fields...sometimes in rounds I don't even know whether a patient requires radiation at all. I've only just figured out what kinds of radiation machines we have in the building -- but couldn't tell you how they work or when we'd use VMAT over 3DCRT. Speaking of which, I'm also trying to learn All The Acronyms. I spend breast cancer rounds hoping that I won't say a made-up chemo acronym when they ask me what should be prescribed (the chemo regimens have names like FEC-D...and sometimes the "C" means carboplatin instead of cyclophosphamide, just to throw you off).
|one of many things I don't know -- how to contour axillary lymph nodes (according to the RTOG atlas)|
|this poster is up in the hallway at work (and helped reassure me that I'm in the right residency program)|
|radiation planning and Munchies for dinner -- probably a preview of the rest of residency|
Overall I think I'm where I want to be right now and that's reassuring to realize, coming out of the state of flux that is clerkship and PGY-1. I guess eventually I'll move through the old "unconsciously incompetent -> consciously incompetent (yup!) -> consciously competent -> unconsciously competent" spectrum. Forget unconsciously competent, I'd be happy to end up a humble consciously competent radiation oncologist in four years' time.