My time on trauma was probably the most intense three weeks of medical school so far – even compared to the three weeks leading up to a major block exam, like I’ve written about before. When you hear “trauma,” you think of crazy accidents and dramatic TLC reenactments and emergency surgeries. There is some of that, but the majority of the time is spent in the ICU after someone has been stabilized “status post” getting hit by a Volvo. In other words, critical care. Continue reading
Turns out you don’t have much time to blog during surgery. At my school, the surgical rotation is split in three: two weeks for a “subspecialty” rotation, which for me was anesthesia, and then three weeks each for paired general surgery services. My pairings were trauma and laparoscopic GI surgeries, better known as “GI-Lap.” Continue reading
My first taste of surgery, the first two weeks, was on the anesthesiology service. Anesthesia was awesome. It’s a “surgical” specialty that has magical hours: my day usually ran from 6:30 to around 5 in the afternoon. Compared to trauma, where the hours can only be described as horrible (we’ll get there), this was a cakewalk. A typical day: Continue reading
Yesterday I told you about the move to a pass-fail system. Regrettably, the change does nothing to ameliorate the other major stressor of being on the wards – pimping.
Pimping is an old method of Socratic-teaching-gone-wrong where a senior doctor instills his or her worldly knowledge in you by asking question after question until you can no longer answer, then humiliates you by either explaining the answer like you are a toddler or by requiring you to look it up and present the topic the next day. Or hour, if life really sucks. Continue reading
This post is not PG. Just… yeah.
Up until this point, most of what we’ve done in medical school could have been taught as part of some unusually advanced undergraduate human biology or physiology major. Yeah, the heart and lung exams were probably out of scope, but learning about how the body works is still in the realm of possibility for someone not in medical school.
Until this week. The Exam That Shall Not Be Named. The genitourinary exam. Continue reading
Two weeks ago, our medical school had its “Cadaver Ball” – a med school prom of sorts, traditionally held to commemorate the end of first-year anatomy. Although we now carry anatomy through the summer (ugh), the tradition of Cadaver Ball remains a spring event. Continue reading
As mentioned in a previous post, our physical diagnosis class has now moved from seeing simulated patients to performing physicals on real patients. Instead of talking to standardized patients in a videotaped exam room and getting feedback from an experienced medical student, we have graduated: now, we are responsible for seeing hospitalized patients, whom we know nothing about, performing a history and physical, and presenting the findings to a Real, Important Doctor.
That’s scary, by the way. Continue reading
This week, I have diabetes.
In a session this morning, our course director gave every man, woman, and needle-wimp (me) a glucose meter, a bag of syringes, and a bottle of saline that was to be our proxy for insulin. For the next three days, we are all Type I diabetics – the type that has to take insulin shots daily and before every meal. The idea is that we’re supposed to learn how onerous it is to be compliant with your medication when you live with this disease. Continue reading
I’ve written quite a bit this academic year about our Physical Diagnosis class, including encounters with standardized patients. But starting in a couple of weeks, things change dramatically. Instead of practicing skills on standardized patients, we enter the hospital under the guidance of an assigned “tutor” to apply our lecture knowledge of the physical exam. Continue reading
I STITCHED UP A GUY’S HEAD.
It was pretty much the coolest thing ever. Last night, I shadowed a doctor who moonlights at the after-hours clinic at the pediatric hospital here. The patients there are the ones who aren’t emergent or “urgent,” but can’t really wait until tomorrow for their regular pediatrician. Most patients were kids with high fevers, babies throwing stuff up, ear infections, etc. I was about to head home a little early (it was a slow night) when a patient popped up on the dashboard with “HEAD LAC” written as the complaint. Continue reading