Monday, September 08, 2008

Top 10 List: Ten things I learned in the first week of third year medical school

1. If you give a bunch of medical students pagers, many of those pagers will go off during the very next lecture.

2. If you train and test medical students in anatomy, physiology and pathology for two years, when you give them a schedule saying "Monday - On Call" they will likely have no idea what this means or what they are supposed to do. Or if they should bring their pagers.

3. Lectures by fourth-year students explaining what "being on call" means and what to do when on call are very helpful. Lectures by senior faculty describing the abstract, theoretical concepts of effective learning aren't so much.

4. Rounds are not to be confused with rounding. Rounds come in two types, teaching and grand. While teaching is done on grand rounds, it is not the same as teaching rounds. Likewise, teaching rounds are not necessarily grand, though I suppose they could be, in the same way that nice people can be jolly. Of course, the internet phenomenon Grand Rounds is entirely different and could be considered a third type.

5. Properly scrubbing for surgery as a medical student simply involves making sure you scrub your hands for longer than any of the other surgeons or residents.

6. Every time we need to write in a patient chart, we need to write the following:

  • Name
  • MSI (which stands for Medical Student Intern...or we can write Clerk instead)
  • our provincial College of Physicians number
  • our pager number
  • the Dr. we discussed the note with
  • the date and time
  • our favourite ice cream
  • a pencil-sketch drawing of ourselves acting out a favourite childhood memory
  • and which character we most resemble on the TV show Scrubs.

Oh, and we have to write something about the patient, too.

7. A hospital tour by a doctor who helped design the hospital will be much more engaging than a tour by an administrator who is reading the signs on the walls.

8. Suturing can be difficult, because if the real thing is anything like our training sessions, our patients' skin will be thick, easily bruised, very fragile, yellow, and smell and look like banana. (There was an "issue" with the bureaucracy with bringing in pigs' feet, as we've used in the past.

9. The summer is plenty of time to forget all the things medical you learned in the first two years of medical school.

10. Even if you remembered everything from the first two years of medical school, you would still know pretty much nothing compared to what a doctor knows.


madsadgirl said...

Full of what a medical student blog should have; humour.

I laughed out loud.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fantastic! Had me laughing the entire way through. Keep it up!

Dragonfly said...

Love it.
Re Number 8 - nothing will ever prepare you for suturing the heel of someone who has not worn closed shoes in 10 years. The force it will take to pierce his skin (with the best of needles) will cause the instruments to bruise your thenar eminence causing you to freak out the next day that you accidentally stabbed yourself.
And re Number 10: - I often think that it I learn more basic science stuff now through the clinical lens. I certainly learned more immunology when doing honours where I took blood from patients who I also got to talk to a number of times, than from lectures and cartoon animations about T cells.

Anonymous said...

95 percent of patients will heal on their own, anyway, even if a medico is involved.