Behold! I have returned at long last and I am an MS4! Yes, I thought I would never make it. And I’m sure many of you thought I wouldn’t either. But here I am, 1000x more weary and none the wiser after having gone through the many levels of hell that was MS3. I think I may have a touch of PTSD, but that’s nothing a little Prozac won’t fix!
Oh the stories I have to tell!
But we’ll start small. Let’s just go with worst experience of MS3. Two words: Internal Medicine. I have never been actively suicidal in my life, but I swear I was during this rotation. The hours suck. The busy-work sucks. The fact that you’re just a peon chasing after coat-tails sucks. But what really killed me was the constant humiliation. A typical day of rounds went something like this:
Dr. Know-it-all: MS3s, go listen to this patient’s heart.
[MS3s proceed to listen to patient's heart]
Dr. Know-it-all: What did you hear?
Fellow MS3: I heard a murmur.
Dr. Know-it-all: Wrong! What about you?
Me: Er…um…A holosystolic murmur.
Dr. Know-it-all: Wrong! It went whoosh-whoosh, not whoooosh-whoooosh or swoosh-swoosh. Therefore, it was a crescendo-decrescendo murmur. And that’s aortic stenosis! [self-satisfactory grin]
And as if that wasn’t bad enough…being humiliated by the attending on a daily basis, we got a good share of it from our senior resident as well.
R2: What drugs reduce mortality in CHF?
Me: Um… (yes, I should have known this, but I didn’t at the time)
Me: Oh, digoxin? (which I totally thought it wasn’t because I vaguely remembered reading that somewhere)
R2: NO! I tricked you! I was testing you and you were wrong!
Me [to self]: WTF! [to R2]: Oh, okay. Sorry I didn’t know. I will go read up on it now.
My last example happened on a call night at around 11pm, when the R2 demanded that us MS3s give her a presentation on heart failure. Her comment was, “Because I’m sick of all this passive learning!” WTF! We would learn if we actually had the time to! And 11pm on a call night is NOT the time to be making MS3s give presentations! She then proceeded to put my poor fellow MS3 on the spot throughout her entire presentation. Luckily for me, I was a much better bullshitter than she. The semi-photographic memory also helped.
And those are just a few of the lowlights from my time on Internal Medicine. More stories to come now that I am an MS4 and have a semblance of a life again!