Me, Finding out there is a mandatory residency event I must go to outside of regular work hours:
Finding out it’s at 7:45 AM on a Saturday:
Finding out that it’s actually on my one Saturday off:
Finding out that the mandatory event is going to cost me $90:
Finding out there is another mandatory event on my next Saturday off after that:
Telling my mom about how life sucks in residency:
Reflecting upon my day:
cranquis asked:Pop quiz hotshot: Clinic room 1 is a patient wanting Vicodin. Room 2 is a diabetic who refuses to control her sugars. Room 3 wants to discuss birth control options (and is your residency director?!). What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO? (Pick a room: why)
Ok, I’m ready. Here’s how it’s gonna go down:
I see the drug seeker first (CURVEBALL). That’s right. Because I want to spend the least amount of time with them.
I’m a very non-confrontational person, so I always have to work up a little gumption before I go in those rooms. So I put on my big girl panties, go in the room, just say no to drugs, and tell them I am late for an important meeting with my boss, who is behind Door # 3. BOOM. DONE.
So then I move to Door #3. If my residency director trusted me enough to ask me for my opinions about her health, I’d be kind of honored. Confused and a little bit scared, sure, but also honored.
Of note, my residency director is male and his wife is past childbearing age, so if he came to me with this question, it would be considerably more awkward and it would probably have to bump to the #3 position.
And last but not least, door #2, who clearly needs a come to Jesus meeting about their life choices and thus needs slightly more time to talk to the doctor (who is me, duh).
I deal with these kinds of folks on the regular, so they don’t really scare me. They frustrate me, but I can still be nice to them and manage their other medical problems while I continue to encourage them to take charge of their health (how’s that for a typical family doc response?).
So there you have it.
Medical school, and to a greater extent, residency, is an emotional rollercoaster. Encouragements and criticisms are thrown at you constantly, sometimes within minutes of each other, and you never totally know where you stand. After several months of working long hours, these things can really start to get to you
Sketchy caregiver to demented patient with a foul vaginal discharge (just before said patient urinated all over the exam table). (via wayfaringmd)
Speaker: Where do you go to identify pills, say if someone overdoses?
Speaker: that’s an option, but you can use Lexicomp or call the hospital pharmacist, which would probably give you a more accurate answer.
Speaker: Moving on. I’m sure all of you hear slang terms for drugs sometimes, both for prescription drugs and for illegal drugs. What do you do if you hear a new term you’re not sure of? Where do you find that sort of information?
Me: Urban Dictionary!
Speaker: Of course, Urban Dictionary!
Transitioning from college to med school studying really wasn’t that hard because the prospect of failing medical school and owing basquillions of dollars to the government pretty well keeps you motivated to study hard.
In the first couple of weeks of medical school, I was motivated by pure fear:
these were huge motivators in that first block.
Then, once you pass the first test you realize that all that work was totally necessary, and when you’ve gotten through it once, it’s slightly easier to do it all over again.
Of course, picking up the pace and doing study marathons EVERY DAY for 2 years is hard to adjust to, but you get through it.
I’ve been meaning to do a post on this for a while now. Here comes a long one.
On my first day of medical school, I dressed up a bit—compared to my undergrad wardrobe of t-shirt and jeans.
I think I’ll go with khakis today. And a nice top. No t-shirt. What do med students wear? I’m a med student, and I wear t-shirts. No no, that can’t be right. They’ll think I’m a slacker. Yes, I should dress up. For sure. But not too much. I can’t keep that up all year.
Apparently everyone else had the same dilemma getting dressed that morning, and had come to conclusions similar to mine.
I drove my roommate M and myself to school that day because I knew the town/campus (as I went there for undergrad too) and she was bad with directions. We got there—15 minutes early, of course—and found that we had been assigned to the same PBL group.
Ok, but when you HAVE the gifs, how do you organize them so you can actually find a specific one later?
I started out by putting them on Photobucket, but they have a 2000 tag limit, so I hit that pretty quick and didn’t want to pay for a premium account. Then for forever I relied on my amazing visual memory. I’d just sort of think of a gif I wanted and find it in my folder. I could remember sort of where it fell in the list of 2000+. But now I’m working on a separate gif blog so I can search by tags. I’ve got about 800 of them tagged and posted on my gif blog so far. It takes me forever, though, so I only work on it on days off and such, and I can only do about 50 or 60 before I get sick of it. Unfortunately, my gif stealing has sort of out run my gif tagging, so I’ve got to do some catching up.
I’d bet good money that if someone gave medical students depression screening tests every 2 months throughout their 4 years, the scores would peak around Step 1 study time (sounds like a good research project for someone out there… holla at me cuz I want my name in the acknowledgements).
Maybe I should submit this diagnosis to be considered for the DSM-VI.
Step 1 study time was the darkest point of medical school for me and many of my friends. You’re sitting at home (or in a cinderblock, no-windows library study room), in a chair, not moving for hours on end (in my case, getting a nerve compression injury from the awkward way you sit in chairs), studying for what will be the hardest test of your life (so far). You’re already tired from 2 years of reading 10 hours a day, and now they tell you to study twice as hard as you have in the past. They want you to feel dumb so you’ll study more.
“Do ALL the practice questions!” they say. “Read ALL the books!” they say. “Do it ALL without sleep!” they say. “But still have balance in your life!” they say.
They are the gunners, the out of touch professors, and the cracked-out student doctor network anons. And they don’t know what they’re talking about.
Hi. I’m really struggling with studying for USMLE Step 1. I know all the generic advice. I basically have zero fun or moral support, and lots of pressure. Correction - there are a few random people who I have never met in my life - either through gtalk/forums… but that hasn’t helped me in any way whatsoever. I hope this isnt inappropriate or out of place in any way. To avoid rambling that could be off-putting, can you give any suggestions to peak motivation and focus? I think I’m losing it. -doctumbl
First, on the pressures of med school life: having internet buddies is great (I have plenty, for sure), but they are no substitute for good, supportive, in-the-flesh friends. Are there any fellow classmates / upperclassmen / professors you can vent to? (If not, you can always Skype me @ WayfaringMD).
On motivation and focus: the best thing for me was to set short term goals. Find something fun and stress releasing you want to do every day during your step 1 study. It can be exercise, sports, tumbling, going to the movies, going out to dinner, etc. Set a goal of X amount of material (reasonable amounts, of course) you need to cover before you can go do that fun thing. You’re stressed out, of course, and you really want to go have fun, so that will motivate you to stick to your studies and get your work done.
If a goal for the end of the day is not enough, set even shorter goals. For example:
- I’m going to get through 20 pages of First Aid by lunch and then I’m going to make the best grilled cheese sandwich ever made and eat it outside
- I’m going to do 100 World questions and then call my best buddy (make sure you schedule phone dates if your friend is also studying!)
- Just 5 more pages and I’ll have a 5 minute dance party
1. Find some FOBT developer and steal it. Keep it with you at all times. You will be a hero because that stuff has legs and doesn’t like to be in the same place as the cards.
2. Don’t take your white coat into your house except to wash it. But wash it frequently. On hot. With bleach. MRSA is no joke, yo.
3. Keep an extra pair of socks, a toothbrush, an extra cell phone charger, a roll of quarters (cuz you gotta eat, and how can you eat without vending machine moneys?) and a case of gum at the hospital. You will thank me later.
4. If you are on surgery, congratulations, your diet now consists entirely of mountain dew and fiber one bars. Stock up.
5. When on a particularly miserable rotation with long hours, pack one more thing in your lunchbox than you think you’ll eat. You’ll eat it.
A new academic year is beginning, which means there is a whole new crop of thousands of first years who are, at any given moment, this close to peeing themselves out of excitement or utter fear. So to calm your worries, I’ve compiled a little advice column. Here goes:
1. Don’t look at the cadaver’s face on the first day of dissection. Save that emotional challenge for a week or two in.
2. Take the amount of time you think you’ll need to study and double it. Seriously.
3. Yes, you really do have to know that minute detail about the alpha subunit of the cholera toxin molecule (there’s a reason why I still remember it. Hello first day of medical school… ah the memories).
4. Don’t pull all-nighters. If you don’t know it by 10pm, you won’t know it at 3am.