Trauma Junior

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

Wedge

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

Big Pimpin’

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

The Exam That Shall Not Be Named

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 Med Students Walk Into An Exam Room….

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

I Have Diabetes (For This Week Only)

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

Presentation Skills: Needs Work

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

“Does He Stitch, Too?”

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