A day in the life of a PGY-3 – Laura Hill, 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.

Clinic Week

7AM brings a ringing alarm and exciting realization – it’s clinic week (better known as Y-week). After four weeks of wearing green scrubs on inpatient, the decision of what constitutes acceptable professional attire feels overwhelming. Plaid goes with everything, right? I’m lucky to live a 15-minute bike ride from the hospital and a 10-minute ride from my clinic site at the Iowa River Landing (IRL). Biking to work is one of the best parts of my day – river views, deer sightings, and a little exercise.

I arrive only mildly sweaty. I’ve already looked up the patients the night before so I’m familiar with our schedule. I use the half-hour before clinic starts to touch base with the medical assistant and nurse that I’ll be working with and order labs for anyone that needs them before their appointment. Our first visit starts at 8 and from there the next four hours fly by. As a third-year resident I see mostly my own patient panel with a few new patients who are establishing care or patients who need to be seen acutely.

Today everything lines up and we end by noon for lunch. The IRL clinic is surrounded by a mix of apartments, restaurants, and retail. I head to a coffee shop across the street with one of my co-residents. We are partial to the BLAT (bacon lettuce avocado tomato – it’s better than its name). One of my favorite things about Y-week is the chance to catch up with our clinic week cohort of residents. We go through all three years with the same group, so you get to know them really well. 

After lunch I have another half-day of my continuity clinic. It’s a similar mix of patients as the morning. We have labs and imaging on site, so results from the morning start trickling into my inbox. After getting everything wrapped up I bike home just before dark. Later this week I will have my two subspecialty clinics in addition to more continuity of care clinics and time set aside for quality improvement and education. 

My husband and I recently adopted a beagle and I come home to a wagging tail that demands a walk. We circle the neighborhood tracking all of the new scents. Then it’s time for dinner, dishes, and bed! 

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