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IR elective?

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Army Strong
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As a 4th year med student, is IR a lot of standing and watching, or can the med student get more involved? I am a 3rd year right now doing a vascular surgery rotation. During the endovascular procedures I am little more than a place to hang a lead vest. My fear is that an IR elective would be 4 more weeks of the same thing.
 

ariwax

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Depending on the staff, the caseload, and the complexity of the procedures at hand, as well as your own prior knowledge and initiative, you could do a lot. In some departments, once the staff has reason to trust you, you could, say, establish femoral access (with supervision) before letting the attending or fellow take over. It's reasonable, in a busy service with few fellows, to expect to be first assistant, managing the tail end of the wire. In a less student-friendly service, you would be the flushmonkey. In a service with particularly anal attendings doing neuro stuff, you might just be a doorknob.
 

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Army Strong
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ariwax said:
Depending on the staff, the caseload, and the complexity of the procedures at hand, as well as your own prior knowledge and initiative, you could do a lot. In some departments, once the staff has reason to trust you, you could, say, establish femoral access (with supervision) before letting the attending or fellow take over. It's reasonable, in a busy service with few fellows, to expect to be first assistant, managing the tail end of the wire. In a less student-friendly service, you would be the flushmonkey. In a service with particularly anal attendings doing neuro stuff, you might just be a doorknob.

Thanks, ariwax
 

f_w

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It is all a question of the local teaching climate and your own ability to show that you are more than door-knob material.
We tried to get the 4th year elective students to assist as much as possible. Most catch on to the basic things pretty quick, but some will even be challenged with the flushmonkey task. The ones who demonstrated that they had an interest in the field and where not a menace to the patients health did things like getting access or putting image guided central lines under supervision at the end of the rotation.
I wouldn't take your experience during the VS rotation as a standard for things to come. Try to talk to someone who has done the IR elective at your school and find out what the deal is.
 
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