Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Post-ER-shadowing Advice

[Formerly a part of the post Back in the hospital: ER shadowing]

Advice I got from the MSIII at the hospital:

  • Enjoy first and second year! Go to all the social events. After hearing this, I went and signed up for the ski trip and the killer Halloween party that the med class has a reputation for. Both sold out shortly thereafter.

Advice I got from the ER doc I shadowed a couple months ago, and was reiterated by my own personal experience:

  • If you're working in a clinic, get a box of disposable pens without lids, and carry two or three with you. Yeah, you'll be writing lots and may want to get a pricey pen for that reason, but you'll go through it so fast it won't be worth it with all the time for refilling. Also, if you use disposables, you can chuck them in the garbage when they run out, and use another one from your lab coat pocket. Finally, make sure they don't have lids; you won't have the time to be uncapping and capping all shift long. Efficient ER docs use their lab coat pockets to always have their own scissors (they can go missing easily in the ER) and tongue depressors.

And my final piece of advice, from the R1:

  • When you're saying goodbye to a doc you've been shadowing, don't tell them, "Well, it's about time I head out, I don't want to be late for the pub." Apparently it's better to say that you're going to be working on a research project or something. The doc found my comment pretty funny and announced to all the nurses, "This student would rather drink beer than experience clinical medicine!" He seemed pretty amused, though, and commented that he was disappointed that he wasn't responsible for filling out an evaluation for me or anything like that. In retrospect, I probably could've made a better impression by omitting that info.