So much for weekly.
Short answer to those who were eager to know: it has been surprisingly fun. Longer answer follows.
First and foremost, it is surprisingly tiring (yes, even expecting it, surprisingly tiring) to stay sharp and think eight hours a day, five days a week. A break and going back to something I have a routine for after the first two weeks was a life-saver (possibly literally, though not for me). Sleeping is essential. Sticking to an exact schedule and daily routine helps a ton. All that jazz.
Doesn't a researcher think all day, you might ask -- after all, it is the paragon of thinking professions? But no, a researcher doesn't. She thinks a lot, and frequently she thinks of complicated and/or muddy things, but she also takes breaks when she wants to, loiters with coffee chatting with workmates, listens idly about their projects, brainstorms lightly, reads interesting sciency stuff. This is all brainwork, but it does not require constant concentration. And most importantly, when the researcher's brain keels over from the load, she goes to menial tasks like routine proof-reading or filling out some idiotic forms or reading email. Or -- gasp -- surfs the web and chats on IRC or takes a walk.
As a physician, you have appointments and if your brain dies two minutes before the next one starts, you had better reboot it fast, because you cannot tell the patient to bugger off, you are not feeling like it. Things happen, sometimes according to a planned schedule, sometimes without, but they will happen regardless of what you want to happen at that particular moment, and you will deal. Sometimes better, sometimes worse, sometimes with frustration, always with help available from colleagues, but you will deal.
And, here's the thing: I'm loving it. When I work at the Salt Mines, my mind is on the work. I listen and look and poke and read and think -- of the work, of the task at hand, and nothing else. It is a delightful feeling. And I learn something every day, which is another lovely thing for a learning-junkie like me.
But it is hard work, tiring work, for me. 40 hours a week, currently, is a bit too much. In the long run, the work had better become easier, more routine-y, less absolute-concentration-required, or there'd better be less of it, or this is not what I'll be doing for the rest of my life.
Hey -- haven't I said this before?