PGY-3 Internal Medicine – University of Saskatchewan
I’m Michael Arget, a PGY-3 Internal Medicine resident at the University of Saskatchewan. I was born in Guelph, Ontario, where I received a B.Sc. (honours) in Microbiology. I then travelled to Calgary to complete a Master of Public Health, Public Health Leadership, at the University of Alberta; and a Doctor of Medicine at the University of Calgary.
I was interested in problem-solving and thinking about complex patients, as well as infectious diseases. Internal medicine gives me a great opportunity to be involved in many different aspects of medicine.
What does a typical day of clinical duties involve?
Our day schedule is variable depending on the rotation one is on. This is an example of a Clinical Teaching Unit schedule: What kinds of rotations are required in your program?
The Saskatchewan core IM training program requires two blocks of Coronary Care Unit (first year and third year), two blocks of Intensive Care Unit (second year), six blocks of clinical teaching unit (as a junior resident in first year), and about three blocks of CTU senior resident (second and third year). There are also requirements to do rotations in a variety of medical subspecialties, including neurology, nephrology, gastroenterology, and infectious diseases.
Which of your personality characteristics are particularly helpful in your field?
Good listening and good communication skills are certainly an asset in interacting with patients.
What are the best aspects of your residency?
I work with a great cohort of fellow residents.
What are the most challenging aspects of your current role?
The six blocks of CTU in first year with one in four 26-hour call was both mentally and physically exhausting.
What is one question you’re often asked about your decision to pursue a non-clinical career?
What exactly is internal medicine?
Can you describe the transition from clerkship to residency?
I was quite concerned about starting residency, as I had completed med school in three years instead of four. The learning curve was steep in the first few months as I learned a new EMR system and how to navigate another hospital.
There was reasonable support available to help with the transition.
What are your future practice plans?
I’m hoping to undertake subspecialty training in the area of infectious diseases. This involves going through the medicine subspecialty match in Fall 2018.
In the long term, I see myself taking on several roles between my clinical work, including medical leadership, education, research, and quality improvement.
What are your fellow residents like, and how do you interact with each other?
We are an eclectic bunch with varying interests. Internal medicine is typically one of the larger residency programs.
What are your academic interests?
I previously worked in both infection control and surgical quality improvement. I have an interest to continue working in quality improvement. I’m currently working on projects studying tuberculosis in Saskatchewan and looking at treatment of fungal blood infections in Saskatoon.
I’m also the President of the Resident Doctors of Canada (RDoC) In this role, I work with a variety of other residents and stakeholder organizations who are interesting in improving the resident experience, the broader healthcare system, and ultimately patient care.
What is your work-life balance like, and how do you achieve this?
Work-life balance is incredibly difficult to maintain. I recommend that residents schedule time to go to the gym, and schedule time to do nothing. Schedule date-night with your significant other. Task lists are also super helpful.