COVID and Allergies thread: Rotation Experience + General Third year vent

May 25, 2019
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Appreciate any attending or residents to chime in here.
--

My school doesnt have its' own hospital and have affiliate agreements with hospitals.

I have allergies and runny nose etc. I didn't fully realize how bad it will be in a mask.

I kept opening close, clearing my nose while sharing a desk with attending. Thinking that she will not say anyting not notice or whatever.
Well she did. She was not amused and said that I didn't look good, and that it was a health safety issue. The worst thing if she reports it to other doctor, then to my school and then school gets down on me for "professionalism".

I will take my allergy meds so I look good on rotations. Not sick.
Please give me honest feedback that I look like a di*k (i'm female) and I will improve it for next time.
---

Also how to stop trying to show off knowledge or dont interupt anyone?
I have a really bad itch or had of intrupting people - do you have any advice for me? How it looks to resident and others and how to stop that. It's just annoying right?
 
Feb 8, 2020
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This is a discussion you should be having with your faculty, and preceptors prior to the rotation so that they are aware of your medical condition and can make appropriate accommodations.
 
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jurassicpark

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Appreciate any attending or residents to chime in here.
--

My school doesnt have its' own hospital and have affiliate agreements with hospitals.

I have allergies and runny nose etc. I didn't fully realize how bad it will be in a mask.

I kept opening close, clearing my nose while sharing a desk with attending. Thinking that she will not say anyting not notice or whatever.
Well she did. She was not amused and said that I didn't look good, and that it was a health safety issue. The worst thing if she reports it to other doctor, then to my school and then school gets down on me for "professionalism".

I will take my allergy meds so I look good on rotations. Not sick.
Please give me honest feedback that I look like a di*k (i'm female) and I will improve it for next time.
---

Also how to stop trying to show off knowledge or dont interupt anyone?
I have a really bad itch or had of intrupting people - do you have any advice for me? How it looks to resident and others and how to stop that. It's just annoying right?

If you're in close proximity to a person, you should NOT be taking your mask down, and clearing your nose. Hopefully you at least turned the other way from your Attending? I would not be anywhere close to amused if a medical student was doing that near me. You should know better especially in this time of COVID. We understand allergies, etc. If you have to pull down your mask, get far away from someone. If you have to clear you nose go even further, turn away, cover up, etc and then wash your hands. You were sharing a desk with your Attending and doing all that, repeatedly.

I agree with Baileyfal, if your Attending is already saying you look sick and citing it becoming a health safety issue talk to your program coordinator and preceptor asap about the problem and how to address it. If you feel like it may flare up again before you test it with your allergy meds, do NOT go in. Call your preceptor and coordinator asap first thing and explain the situation. Going in and looking sick again after essentially sneezing all over them will make them seriously question your judgement and decision making abilities. The basic screening questions for any doctors office or hospital these days would have you light up like a Christmas tree as a danger.

Most doctors are extremely paranoid about spread of COVID. Hell, most doctors are paranoid of getting it. Most are at the age it can be devastating to catch. Several of my colleagues already became very ill and some ended up in the ICU. We will appreciate an ounce of precaution.

Yes, don't interrupt anyone. You're a medical student. You're there to learn. You can speak up if a question is asked, or if there's an opening. Displaying knowledge is great. But do not interrupt, that's just rude in general. If you feel the need to interrupt, count to ten or something unless its life of death.
 
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May 25, 2019
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Thanks for your timely message. I send an email to course coordination and preceptor to let them know of allergies and my action plan. I will NOT report to work if the symptoms are not contained. I am hopeful that they will be, but it's good to have a plan B. I did not mention what the attending said or even the attending incident b.c I didn't want more trouble. I just hope to be there if I am good and NOT show up if I'm bad.Simple.
 

WheezyBaby

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Appreciate any attending or residents to chime in here.
--

My school doesnt have its' own hospital and have affiliate agreements with hospitals.

I have allergies and runny nose etc. I didn't fully realize how bad it will be in a mask.

I kept opening close, clearing my nose while sharing a desk with attending. Thinking that she will not say anyting not notice or whatever.
Well she did. She was not amused and said that I didn't look good, and that it was a health safety issue. The worst thing if she reports it to other doctor, then to my school and then school gets down on me for "professionalism".

I will take my allergy meds so I look good on rotations. Not sick.
Please give me honest feedback that I look like a di*k (i'm female) and I will improve it for next time.
---

Also how to stop trying to show off knowledge or dont interupt anyone?
I have a really bad itch or had of intrupting people - do you have any advice for me? How it looks to resident and others and how to stop that. It's just annoying right?

For the first question, I don't have much to add beyond what's already been said. Your path to being able to stay on rotation is likely going to be going through occ health and getting COVID testing, but I agree with the other posters. For your second question, is English your first language? The only reason I ask is that I suspect there's a cultural difference here. It looks bad if a med student is interrupting another student to try to show their knowledge. It looks really bad if they're doing that to a resident / fellow / staff. Don't interrupt someone else speaking. Find a gap to chime in or save your input for later.
 
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May 25, 2019
43
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For the first question, I don't have much to add beyond what's already been said. Your path to being able to stay on rotation is likely going to be going through occ health and getting COVID testing, but I agree with the other posters. For your second question, is English your first language? The only reason I ask is that I suspect there's a cultural difference here. It looks bad if a med student is interrupting another student to try to show their knowledge. It looks really bad if they're doing that to a resident / fellow / staff. Don't interrupt someone else speaking. Find a gap to chime in or save your input for later.
Thank you all. It was fine. I was lucky that the attending didn't say much after that and I of course learn to be very careful with my mask etc. It was my first rotation. No English isn't my first language, I have lived in the US for nearly 2/3 of my life (immigrated at age 12) but never felt fully assimulated even though I went to a Top 5 undergrad, etc.

I agree with that it looks bad overall. I have some kind of impulse control anxiety thing going on , but its important to remember that residents/staff/faculty have all seen a GOOD number of these "TOO GOOD, show off" types so I will be lumped there if I do that. Also it's rude especially in Western cultures and it shows that you somehow think what others have to say isn't important.

The resident I was with had excellent interpersonal skills, very situation aware and very focused on anticipating needs and making sure everyone has that from attending to staff to med students.
 

BacktotheBasics

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Appreciate any attending or residents to chime in here.
--

My school doesnt have its' own hospital and have affiliate agreements with hospitals.

I have allergies and runny nose etc. I didn't fully realize how bad it will be in a mask.

I kept opening close, clearing my nose while sharing a desk with attending. Thinking that she will not say anyting not notice or whatever.
Well she did. She was not amused and said that I didn't look good, and that it was a health safety issue. The worst thing if she reports it to other doctor, then to my school and then school gets down on me for "professionalism".

I will take my allergy meds so I look good on rotations. Not sick.
Please give me honest feedback that I look like a di*k (i'm female) and I will improve it for next time.
---

Also how to stop trying to show off knowledge or dont interupt anyone?
I have a really bad itch or had of intrupting people - do you have any advice for me? How it looks to resident and others and how to stop that. It's just annoying right?

I can imagine how the humidity that gets trapped flares up allergic rhinitis. I can empathize with that. The attending physician's concern is correct because we all can't afford to break protocol. I just wish she or whoever she brought this up to had been stern to you directly and got someone to have you step aside and offer you some relief as opposed to reporting it anonymously. Gone are the days where attendings actually care about medical students I guess. It's hard to say without knowing the individuals involved or seeing the situation but I could also see her venting her frustration about you being noisy but phrasing it as a COVID-related concern.

That's all besides the point now though. You need to get in touch with your school ASAP, tell them you understand the seriousness of COVID precautions and that your behavior was ill-advised. Tell them you want to be engaged as much as possible but that you might also need a bit of time to stabilize your allergies so you're not tempted/forced to break sanitary measures. I imagine this being a chronic problem for you. How have you dealt with it before? Why did it flare up this time besides the mask humidity? Do you think you need an escalation in your therapy? Questions for your doctor. Make sure you don't make the same mistake again for the sake of your patients/colleagues as well as for yourself.

As for interrupting...it's simple. Don't do it. Answer if asked. You can volunteer answers, but since you already have noticed people getting annoyed you're better off just waiting until called upon. I did the same thing as a medical student, it requires a change in perspective and realize you're there to learn and unfortunately during COVID-19, you're essentially an after thought.

As a point of academic interest, I have seen an association between runny noses/allergy symptoms and anxiety in my patients, the clinic, from medical trainees, etc. Both have a histaminergic component (hydroxyzine), I wonder if there's something to that.
 
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hmockingbird

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Agree with the above — in addition to talking to the school see your PCP ASAP to discuss allergies. And I read that one of your plans is to start taking your allergy meds... yes, if you’re supposed to be taking something for allergies you need to be doing that now in this current climate.
 

KeepCalm11

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@BacktotheBasics @HopeForTomorrow @jurassicpark @baileyfal @WheezyBaby -can you guys give me some feedback or advice on how to behave on rotation? Be quiet, sit in a very uncomfy chair without a desk or provided computer and look like you are very comfy for the duration.

I ducked up the 4 full days in a Ob/gyn clinic that was the only clinical aspect of my OB rotation. I asked a couple of students who were there in a before me how things were, and they said "Great, so good, chill" "the ms4 is there to help you" -

well, i go there, and manage to piss off 1 of 3 docs working in the same room. there are all lady docs who work together and work together . 10 mins into the rotation Day 1, doc starts presenting a pt to me that she's going to see - i ask the med stduent non verbally if i can go over to her desk, she nods --- so i get closer to her desk, and the DOC starts yelling at me "Absolutely NOT get close to my desk".

The same doc gets very annoyed and angry b.c while waiting in the doc room, I try to ask MS4 some questions and she says "your questions telling me that you are not thinking critically, you need to read more" etc . I also tried to make some small talk (bc the rotation was very boring, private doctor's office, no seeing pts on your own, just shadowing) etc. Downhill from there one and the last day , I got very harsh feedback and it cause me PSTD. I accep it and I will do better.

I should have set expecatations from DAY1 (even if it was a couple of days rotation, weird i know covid times), and tried to present myself as a trustable and presentable person and just kept quiet while in their physician office. Very likely the doctor are trying to focus and don't want to overhearing MS3 talking like it's the student longue or something.
 

KeepCalm11

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@BacktotheBasics @HopeForTomorrow @jurassicpark @baileyfal @WheezyBaby - also in the first day of rotation, many attending or residents ask "where you are from" "what college you went to" as an ice breaker. / I am not caucasian, I don't look white lol... and belong to a non-western non-christian country (i'm atheist) . Should I say the US hometown and leave it at that ? Or should I also add in the "dangerous" developing country i am from? NO ONE CARES?

also - i went to a top 5 undergrad out of state and then a local university for some post-bac classes. It was a long time ago. should i just say the local univeristy to keep expectations low? //
 
Feb 8, 2020
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Hi KeepCalm11, I’m sorry that I likely will not be able to give specific answers to all of your questions, but I will say that, it sounds to me like you are just over thinking things.
OB/GYN rotations are often difficult due to the personalities involved and it’s not uncommon to have some difficult interactions. I would not worry so much about trying to come up with clever answers to, what seem like ‘small talk, questions. I would just answer simply and truthfully. Continue to do the basic things, such as: show up on time, do as you’re told, read, seek feedback, ask appropriate questions and the rotation be over before you know it.
 
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KeepCalm11

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Hi KeepCalm11, I’m sorry that I likely will not be able to give specific answers to all of your questions, but I will say that, it sounds to me like you are just over thinking things.
OB/GYN rotations are often difficult due to the personalities involved and it’s not uncommon to have some difficult interactions. I would not worry so much about trying to come up with clever answers to, what seem like ‘small talk, questions. I would just answer simply and truthfully. Continue to do the basic things, such as: show up on time, do as you’re told, read, seek feedback, ask appropriate questions and the rotation be over before you know it.
Thank you Dr BaileyFal. THAT'S IT. keep focus on these action as you listed. Many thanks and have a great one!
 

WheezyBaby

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Hi KeepCalm11, I’m sorry that I likely will not be able to give specific answers to all of your questions, but I will say that, it sounds to me like you are just over thinking things.
OB/GYN rotations are often difficult due to the personalities involved and it’s not uncommon to have some difficult interactions. I would not worry so much about trying to come up with clever answers to, what seem like ‘small talk, questions. I would just answer simply and truthfully. Continue to do the basic things, such as: show up on time, do as you’re told, read, seek feedback, ask appropriate questions and the rotation be over before you know it.

Agreed, difficult to weigh in on specifics here when there are so many barriers to do so. Be interested, work hard, read, advocate for and know your patients.
 

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