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Are Internal Medicine Residencies bad?

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Dr. Whatever, Oct 31, 2002.

  1. Dr. Whatever

    Dr. Whatever Junior Member
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    I often hear negative comments about internal med. residencies and was wondering what reputation they have (or have earned). Are IM residencies tough, frustrating or is there a lot of needless scut? What is it that prompts this reputation and comments?
     
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  3. ny skindoc

    ny skindoc Senior Member
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    Internal medicine residencies are demanding.The patients are frequently elderly and have many complicated medical and social problems.As the primary physician it can be very frustrating.Thats why Rads,Anesthesiology etc are so popular.If you dont love internal medicine its going to be a long, tough road but if you enjoy it then there are lots of great opportunities.
     
  4. Voxel

    Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

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    Not all internal medicine residencies are created equal. Internal medicine is both time intensive and intellectually challenging.

    Most specifically, things to look out for are: 1) The amount of scut/non-medical/social issues one needs to deal with (especially during the intern year, which can be quite frustrating) 2) The amount of didactic teaching, 3)The number of different zebras seen, 4) the amount of time off to study and relax (this includes direct board prep by faculty for residents). 5) Fellowship opportunities available to graduates and ease with which competitive fellowships are obtained, 6) # of malignant attendings and 7) If you are set on going into academics, then the national reputation of the hospital. (which may be weighted more heavily than factors 1-4 and there will be substantial overlap between hospitals listed in #5 and #7 for obvious reasons).

    Residencies that are high on #1 and #6 and low on numbers 2-5, would make for a more miserable experience, IMHO.

    These criteria are in no particular order and should be weighted according to each individual's preference. This is what I would look for in an internal medicine program had I gone into internal medicine.
     
  5. Dr. Whatever

    Dr. Whatever Junior Member
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    Thanks very much for your response. I wonder if you could explain the following. This is coming from a non-medical spouse so please excuse my ignorance.

    - didactic teaching
    - different zebras seen
    - malignant attendings
     
  6. Fah-Q

    Fah-Q Senior Member
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    Attending Physician
    Didactic teaching = lectures
    Zebra = a rare and unusual disease (The term zebra comes from an old saying that goes something like this: "If you hear hooves, its probably not a zebra." Young residents and students tend to "over-diagnose" problems, and so the idea is to think of the most common causes for a specific symptom first instead of trying to diagnose the patient with an rare disease...its usually a horse and not a zebra.)
    Malignant attendings = assholes (attendings are the bosses of the residents)
     

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