I am not dead. Just in case that was in doubt. Sometimes I feel like I am dead, of course, or very near it, and there have been a few painful moments over the last two months during which I wished I were dead, but all of that aside, I am decidedly not dead.

I have been an intern for almost two months. That means there are approximately ten months standing between me and no longer being an internal medicine intern. The fact that I think about it that way has nothing to do with anything except that intern year, as a rule, sucks. Now, the program I am in is wonderful. The team I am currently working with, I wish I could keep for the rest of the year because they are truly wonderful people. The work is interesting, to a point. It’s just that it keeps coming, and coming, and coming. The thing is, there’s always more to be done, always a test I’m waiting for, always a consult pending, always something that, if I let it, would keep me in the hospital. I hate being there for nearly 80 hours a week, but there are so many days when it takes a colleague telling me flat out that I should leave in order for me to do it.

The reward of hearing a patient tell me that I’m a good doctor, or that they wish I could be their doctor after they leave the hospital, or that they want to hear what I think about a situation — that is immeasurable. It’s everything I told myself it would be while I was fighting my way through the last ten years. And yet, I am exhausted, and there are still ten months of this to go, and then the rest of residency.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yeah, I think that about sums it up.

Intern year does suck, bigtime. But it’s also amazing. How crazy is that?