I like familiarity.

Residency works kind of like Medical School in some ways. You still have to deal with changing teams, often every four weeks, sometimes changing specialties and hospitals. This usually goes along with an ever rotating roster of patients. I’m currently on a rotation where my team admits new patients every other day, so every other day there are new faces to meet and become familiar with, and I quickly became very tired with being “on call.” Today I finally realized part of why I don’t like it: I prefer to build upon existing relationships than to create new ones.

Some doctors like the constant stream of new that comes along with Inpatient medicine (and I’m including Emergency Medicine in this as well). They like meeting new people and managing a variety of diseases, and they like the acuity of it all. I, on the other hand, have always had an affinity for Outpatient medicine. I like being able to take my time and get to know people. I like to have a chance to grow fond of people over time. Call days are exhausting because so much is new, but post call days are easier on me, even if they’re just as long.

This doesn’t have to translate over to my relationship style (if it did, then ER doctors would have very rapid relationship turnover), but there are definitely parallels. Meeting people is fun, but draining. I enjoy NRE (“New Relationship Energy” aka, “the Honeymoon period”) just like most people do, but I don’t have much desire to seek it out once I’m in a relationship. I’ve proven myself capable of falling in love while already in love and in a happy relationship with someone else, but it’s not something I feel driven to do, and this seems to be a way in which I differ from many other poly people.

I enjoyed the NRE I had with Ember and Catalyst, but my NRE craving takes the form of wishing I could relive those days or rekindle that feeling.

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