A day in the life of a PGY-2 – Mackenzie Hines, MD

We asked a number of our residents to describe what a typical day looks like. We are grateful to share their stories in this series of diaries.

Every five weeks, we have our Y-week, which consists of five half-days of our continuity clinic, two half-days of subspecialty clinics, one half-day of education, one half-day for quality improvement, and one-half day for administrative work. My alarm clock rings at 6:45AM. I always look forward to Y-week as it allows me to sleep an extra hour! I am definitely not a morning person and will take every minute of sleep I can get, rolling out of bed just in time to get out the door and to my first clinic on time. I’m on the road by 7:20AM. My clinic this morning is allergy clinic, which is the field I’m planning to pursue so I’m always excited for everything I get to learn from these patients. One of your subspecialty clinics each year is in your field of interest and you can request to stay in the same clinic your entire three years, which is great for building relationships. I typically see four patients on average in a half-day, one or two of which may be new patients.

Lunchtime rolls around and I’m rushing to get onto our quality improvement project team meeting on Zoom. All the residents on my Y-week are involved in the meeting, as well as our faculty mentors. All residents were given assignments at our last huddle five weeks ago, so we start by providing updates to everyone, then finish by planning out our next steps and what we want to achieve with the project over the next five weeks before we meet again. This year, our team is continuing our SGLT-2 inhibitor project as it was quite successful last year and we are excited to see how we can expand it!

Next up, I head over to the VA hospital at 1pm for my afternoon continuity clinic. Residents are assigned to continuity clinics either at the VA or Iowa River Landing. With the COVID-19 pandemic, at the VA, we are currently doing three half-day clinics in person and the other two half-day clinics via telephone. This afternoon, my visits are via telephone and I have three patients to see. I’m typically done seeing patients by 4PM, latest 5PM, if it’s a busy day. I often stay to finish up my notes and orders from the day, as well as prep my notes for tomorrow’s busy clinic. I’m typically home by 6:30PM.

After I get home, I spend some time cuddling with our new puppy and take him on a quick walk. Luckily, tonight is Bachelorette night! My fiancé and I make a quick dinner and then I finally get time to sit down and relax for the show. I’ve been looking forward to this all week! I’m in bed by 10PM, ready to start a busy day tomorrow with a full day of in-person continuity clinic visits.

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