Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Big day tomorrow

For me, it's a big day because it's my last day of Ob/gyn, and after 6 weeks in NY, I'm finally going back home! I would like to thank Flushing for the broken window, stolen GPS, and parking ticket. Only one more day tomorrow in clinic, spending most of the time staring at the wall because I don't speak the right language. It's a little awkward doing a pap smear, vaginal exam, and breast exam on someone you can't talk to, but that's the life of an ob/gyn student in Flushing!

However, for thousands of brand new residents across the country, tomorrow is an even bigger day! Every year, July 1st is the day that every new intern starts residency, all across the country. If you think about it, it's a little scary. According to some reports, hospital death rates jump up to 10% in July! After 4 years in medical school, where every patient encounter is closely monitored and you're not really responsible for much, you're all of the sudden a doctor, and the patients are YOUR patients! It's a scary thought, and exactly a year away for me. So, best of luck to all of the new residents tomorrow!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Bored and on call

Currently, I'm sitting in the residents lounge, on one of the way-too-comfortable sofas, taking a short break from studying. There are very few patients here today, which leaves me with very little to do. At some point, I'll have to go record vitals (since there is no computer charting here), but I'm not feeling quite ready for that yet.

I had Indian for lunch today, and my stomach is not thanking me at all for that. The hardest thing to do today will likely be deciding what to do for dinner. I'm not complaining though...I have managed to get a decent amount of studying done, although the end is nowhere near in sight, and won't be for another month. Ok...i think I'll go find vitals now.

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Location:Hawthorne Ave,Flushing,United States

Saturday, June 26, 2010

last 24 hr call for the next year?

Unfortunately, I've got another 24 hr weekend call tomorrow, but it's Sunday, which is much better than Saturday. At least with Sunday call, you get Monday off. However, even more exciting than only having Monday off from clinic is the fact that this is probably my last long call of med school! 4th year electives typically have better hours than 3rd year cores (unless you pick something like neurosurgery), so this should be it for me. I'll definitely be doing some nights throughout my two months of ER, but they'll just be regular night shifts...not this 24+ hr. call crap. And, other than the occasional night shift, it looks like I've got a pretty easy 7.5 months ahead of me, until I graduate (not counting the month of studying that's coming up).

I think that remembering this will put me in a decent mood tomorrow. To help make sure I'm in a good mood, I think it's time to get to bed and get a decent night sleep.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saturday call sucks!

Title pretty much says it all...what a waste of a day. When you have Saturday overnight call, you basically lose your whole weekend. You work all day saturday, get off Sunday, and then have to either sleep or be tired. The worst part is that I did basically nothing all day yesterday. There's just no reason for students to ever have to do overnight call on Saturday. The only reason some places make you do it is because that's how it's always been. Well, to me, that's just not a good enough reason. Mark my words...when I'm a resident, unless I'm absolutely not allowed to, I will be sending my students home early on nights and weekend. So many places seem to forget that we're students, who are paying to be there to learn medicine....not little scut monkey slaves to just stand around and wait for menial tasks to be thrown our way.

Fortunately though, as I'm less than 2 weeks away from being done 3rd year, I'll hopefully not have to do another Saturday call until I'm a resident! I do have call next Sunday, but at least you get Monday off. If I haven't already mentioned it, being a third year students sucks. If you're just about to start it, be prepared for lots of scut work, and lots of watching other people do things.

I sound bitter...I should get some rest!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A short update, and congrats!

First off, congrats to Trixie (and many other people out there) who recently started their first day of residency!  I imagine it to be surreal, the first time you see your name as "Dr." on the schedule, and are given med students.  I'm definitely looking forward to a year from now, when I can see for myself.  It seems like just yesterday that I was stressing about getting into med school, and then starting, and then getting through first year, then through step one, and so on.  Now, the end is less than a year away.  Since I'm in OB right now, it may be appropriate to say that if you got pregnant today, by the time you have your baby, I'll be done med school!

There's really not much exciting to report about rotation though.  Today was a pretty easy day, with only one short surgery, leaving me some time to study.  My guess is there's going to make up for it tomorrow, but I can only hope that I don't wind up with my new least favorite OB surgeon...the one who doesn't think a student is his assistant.

Things with my electives seem to be falling into place nicely and if I can make one more thing work out, there's a chance that I'll actually finish med school at the end of February!  My two rotations at Hopkins are just about all figured out and unless something crazy happens, they should be settled (which is probably the most exciting part of my week).  Just over 2 weeks left in OB, then I'll be studying like mad for the USMLE all over again (step 2, obviously).  I'm going to keep myself sane during that month long period by reminding myself that I'm a 4th year med student!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Safari Reader

I just want to take a second to highlight a new feature in Apple's Safari browser, which I've quickly become a big fan....Safari Reader.  If you haven't yet downloaded Safari 5, you should do it right away (available from software update, under the apple menu).  It has other big features, such as finally enabling browser extensions, but Reader is my favorite.  The best way to explain Reader is to illustrate it.  In short, it turns this mess:

Obama to address nation on oil disaster Tuesday night -

into this:



When you click the reader button, Safari strips out the all the ads, headers, and other garbage, and presents you with the article, without any other distractions.  CNN is actually not too awful, but some other sites are far worse.  Ads may be necessary, but I hate them, and I love that I can now have them instantly stripped from whatever I'm reading.  So, once again, thanks Apple, for making my life just a little more pleasant.  Now, if you could just drop AT&T....

Friday, June 11, 2010

getting closer being done 3rd year, and it really can't come to soon!  I am developing a sever case of 3rd year senioritis, and I am beginning to get a little bitter.  I am totally over the 3rd year student role in the OR, particularly!  I hate standing around watching for hours on end, doing nearly nothing but some suctioning, retracting, and cutting suture.  Today, it took everything I had to keep my mouth shut, and it's a good thing that I only have 1 week in the OR left, because that's about all I can stand.  I'm gonna tell you the story, because I need to vent!

The surgeon I was with today does things a little differently.  Actually, lots of surgeons do things different, because they're surgeons, and I think they just like that they can do things however they want.  But, back on topic....this guy likes to have two Bovies and two suctions set up (one for him, one for the resident).  Since attendings rarely pick up a suction (they prefer to point to things they want me to suction), his is essentially mine.  So anyway, he was tying something off, I had my suction tip right next to his instruments, and he said, "suction."  Being a good little med student, I tried to suction.  He then barked at me, "not you!  Him!  He's my assistant, not you!"  Well excuse me, I didn't know that after suctioning for half the case, only the resident was allowed to suction the tiny blood vessel you cut!  At this point, I wanted to just cross my arms and not do another damn thing, since the resident is his assistant...not me.  It's sad that I actually still get a little excited when they let me suture...something that most doctors don't even want to be in the room for.  I still am not sure how I managed to keep my mouth shut through 3 months of similar stories in my surgery core.  I guess I'm gaining a new skill.  But, like I said, I'm very glad that there's only one week of it left!

Now, I need to eat something.  Preferably meat.  I really would like to gnaw on a steak!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

1/3 done OB

As I think I've mentioned before, I decided to take OB/gyn in 2 weeks blocks, since that's how it's split up for us (two weeks each of OB, gyn, and clinic).  So, I'm now 1/3 of the way done, and it already seems to be going by quickly!  Unfortunately, I have a feeling that I've finished the part that I'm going to like the most.

So far, although I dislike the area, the rotation has been pretty good.  Some of the attending do a great job of teaching and really care about the students.  I also may have just gotten lucky so far, but I've liked all of my residents to this point, and some of them will also teach a decent amount.  This is definitely one of those places though that if you want to sit around and do nothing all day, you could get away with it, but if you ask, they'll let you do a lot and teach.

So far, I've seen a bunch of vaginal deliveries, and depending on the attending, they may let you catch the baby, suture up an episiomoty, or you may just watch.  There are also plenty c-sections every day to scrub into, and the experience in there is also attending dependent.  Typically, you'll just retract, suction, and cut suture, but a couple attendings have really done a good job explaining everything, pointing out relevant anatomy, and let me get my hand inside and feel around.  One, who really loves to teach (and is good at it), even asked the resident to switch places with me and let me do most of the closing.  Although I probably won't go into surgery at this point, it was very nice when he told me that if I didn't go into surgery, it would be a waste of talent!

Next is gyn, which is primarily surgery.  Unfortunately, it's probably just going to be more retracting and suctioning.  I'm really over the student role in surgery, and I wish they let us do more.  I've heard that some places, there are few residents and the students actually get to first assist a lot.  And, I love when I get to do that.  Sometimes I worry that I'm not going into surgery because I just didn't have a good enough experience, in the student role, to really fall in love with surgery like I thought I would.  But, if I really had gotten the chance to first assist once in a while and see what it's like to be a surgeon, I may have had different thoughts.   Because, when the one attending let me switch with the resident, I really didn't want to leave the OR.  But, I'm keeping an open mind, so we'll see how it goes in gyn.

The only thing I'm REALLY not looking forward to is clinic.  Mostly because the patients are almost entirely Spanish, and almost none of them speak English!  I do not have a problem with Spanish patients, and I'm all for diversity, but I do have a big problem with none of them speaking English!  It kind of pisses me off that they live here for years, are getting basically free care in the clinic, and then they can't even learn the language to communicate.  Fortunately for them, many of the residents are fluent in Spanish.  Actually, I don't think any of the residents natively speak English.  So, we'll see how that least it has the easiest hours.