Tag Archive for 'clerkships'

i am so going into radiology

After 1 week of psych consult, I learned that I do not, under any circumstance, want to go into Internal Medicine. How anyone can stand the smell of someone else’s diarrhea is completely beyond me. And I’m from psych consult! I probably had to smell it for, what, five minutes? Yeah, well, five minutes is far too long. I cannot imagine being on Medicine and actually having to do a physical on someone who stinks of poo. Let’s just say that I was actually glad I hadn’t eaten before seeing this patient because I would have surely vomited otherwise.

We get a lot of consult requests from the various Medicine teams in the hospital. So I’ve had the distinct pleasure of visiting many Medicine areas in the hospital. And they all have that distinct hospital smell that I have now grown quite sick of. Sometimes, this smell is intermingled with the distinct smell of poo. The people in these areas tend to be pretty sick with multiple problems. And MRSA. I guess I should be glad I’ve learned how to gown up for such situations. But, really, I just don’t like it.

At the end of my second week, I learned that I don’t like talking to patients. Or their family. Or anyone else, really. Sure, I already knew that, but I thought it would change when I started wards. That something inside of me would magically change and I all of a sudden wouldn’t be socially awkward anymore or hate talking with people. No such luck. There’s nothing like knowing nothing to really make you not want to open your mouth when speaking to patients. Patients who expect you to know everything.

By the end of my third week, I decided that I’m going into Radiology. Over the weekend, I debated whether it was really what I wanted because I never really liked what little Radiology I had been exposed to in my first two years of med school. And it’s also 4 years on top of an internship year. Plus I’d want to either do a Neuro or Interventional fellowship, which would add another 1-2 years, making it 6-7 years total, far too long a time for someone who has already wasted 4 years on a PhD that she’ll likely never use. So I had my doubts.

Then, yesterday, my attending insisted on watching me interview a patient. These kinds of situations are particularly painful for me because of my social awkwardness and nervousness when being watched by other people. Of course, I get a psychotic patient. Which I’ve never seen before. So I really concentrated on making sure I asked the right questions on the timecourse of his symptoms as well as things to rule out depression and mania and the like. And because I was being watched and didn’t want to waste the attending’s precious time, I directed the interview more than I usually do, sometimes cutting off the patient’s rambling answers to interject my own questions, but never too brazenly. I also took this approach because I’ve gotten quite a few delirious/talkative patients who would talk and talk and talk without making much sense, making for really long pointless interviews and I was kind of tired of it. Also, I was modeling the interview style of the other attending, who I’ve worked with more than this particular one, who keeps things nice and short. Well, at the end of it all, this attending called me an unempathetic information gatherer. Now that might sound painful to those who aren’t used to hearing themselves being described that way. But it didn’t surprise me at all. I actually wanted to respond by saying, “Tell me something I don’t already know” because I didn’t find that assessment particularly useful. I know that I suck at empathy. That’s because I suck at social interactions, period. Sometimes, I think I have Asperger’s. And the sad thing is that I was actually trying during this interview. Though not as much as with unwatched interviews because I always feel so fake doing such things and didn’t want the attending to call me out on it. Yeah, that plan worked out well.

So, that’s how I’ve come to decide that Radiology is for me after just 3.5 weeks on rotations. The only thing that might change my mind is Surgery. But I doubt it. And I’m sure my attendings will be glad to know that I won’t be spreading my unempatheticness wide and far.

on second thought, i suppose it could be worse…

So last week, I whined a bit about my third year clerkship schedule. This week, I’m trying to tell myself that it’s not so bad. It could have been worse. I could have ended up with Surgery or Internal Medicine first. Then I’d really have cause to complain. But I don’t have either of those clerkships first. I have Psychiatry first. Not ideal because I wanted Family Practice first to ease myself into the whole thing and semi-prepare me for Pediatrics second. But I’ll live. I think. I hear Peds isn’t exactly a walk in the park. And now I’m going into it after Psych, which in no way whatsoever prepares me for it. The other thing that didn’t quite fall into place with my schedule is the fact that I ended up not being able to get OB/Gyn before Surgery, which I really wanted so that I could gain some experience with being in the OR/tying surgical knots/etc so that I wouldn’t look like a complete idiot come Surgery since I have a more than passing interest in Surgery after all. Of course, the lottery gods decided to spite me and force me to do OB/Gyn last. Yep, that’s it. The order is jumbled up and looks almost nothing like what I wanted. But it’s not so bad, is it? Well, actually, it is. To me. I want it my way, dammit.

my fate has been determined…

Oops…disappeared there again…let’s just say that setting up a home theater system sucks and takes way more time and energy than you would think. Plus I’ve been busy with trying to figure out what order I want to do my clerkships in. Turns out I might as well have not bothered because I didn’t get them in the order I wanted anyway.For the uninitiated, the third year of med school is when students rotate through different required clerkships, gaining clinical experience and hopefully some insight into what specialty they want to pursue. Much fanfare is made about the order of such clerkships and countless strategies abound. Because of the limited number of spots per clerkship per rotation, most schools resort to some sort of lottery system to determine students’ third year schedules. Ours is a long-winded process that apparently doesn’t work too well. Because my schedule sucks. I’m going to go sulk now.