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Positive Stories About Third Year--Anyone?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by rubyness, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. rubyness

    rubyness Senior Member
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    After reading that online novel by Greg Nicholson and after consoling my friend who is a third year, I would like to hear some happy stories about the third year. I know they must be out there somewhere...
     
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  3. PimplePopperMD

    PimplePopperMD Senior Member
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    As a third year, you're finally doing something that you have wanted to do for the past number of years (undergrad, taking mcat, first two years, all together are an attempt to practice clinical medicine for most of us, and that begins third year!)

    It is the third year that molds us from frightened medical student to competent doctor. It is the most important year in the development of a physician (some will argue internship year is, but i disagree)... the slope of the learning curve is SO steep here, that everything is new and interesting, and practical, and important.

    a lot of the negative stuff is also true ;)
     
  4. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire
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    Don't listen to the dribble in that online novel. That guy is an immature, spoiled brat who expected to be spoon fed! The third year can be a miserable experience, or an immensely satisfying one. It is what you make of it. ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING! I think most people would agree that those who consistently work hard at learning and being a team player are the ones who enjoy the year the most. Don't misunderstand, it is a very difficult year. You're still a student and as such have no real authority, yet you have a great deal of responsibility. You will be expected to care for patients and actually use what you learned in the first two years. Personally, I loved the third year because I finally got to take care of patients and "act" like a doctor (although I certainly didn't feel like one yet). Also, I'll let you in on a little known secret. The harder you work, the better you'll be treated. The guy in that online novel is a perfect example. What attitude! If he had been my student, I'd have made him my personal scut monkey! I like to really torture the lazy or arrogant ones. On the other hand, I love rewarding hard working students with little to no scut, high yield tutorials and anwsers to often asked pimp questions. I also try to let them go as early in the day as possible. I think most residents have similar patterns.
     
  5. rubyness

    rubyness Senior Member
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    Thanks for the responses! Pimple Popper, I think the same thing about the fact that third year is the one you've been waiting for all this time! That's why I've been looking forward to it!

    Neurogirl, I definitely agree about the fact that the writer's attitude determined his experience. He was unwilling to take any responsibility for himself. The whole time he complained about everything--from too much work to not enough work. He also tended to blame everyone else around him for his miserable time of it. I think one of my favorite parts was about when he wanted to deliver a baby and he would leave the floor and expect the residents to page him when the baby was ready to be born!!! And then he got pissed off when they didn't do it!! The nerve--if you want to deliver a baby then you follow your patient, and here's a radical concept--you labor sit until the baby is born, you don't wander off and expect to be summoned!

    I am a second year now, and I have been looking forward to next year ever since I started pre-med. My perspective is that I will go into it hoping for the best, and expecting to work like a dog. I know that not everything will go wonderfully and there might be people I have to work with that are mean or unpleasant. I can't take it personally, and I'll just do my best to read the situation. The friend I was consoling was in tears because her attending snapped at her for asking questions that he considered too vague. He sounds mean and I can only hope that if I'm in a situation like that that I'll be able to read people enough to avoid bumping into their egos. I don't know...this is all speculation on my part and I won't know anything until I go through it myself.
     
  6. drdaizy

    drdaizy Junior Member
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    I echo a lot of the above. It's all in what you make of it. I've been a third year for almost three months now, and this is what I've been wanting to do for two looooong pre-clinical years. I started off in Peds, not the field for me but a good experience nonetheless. Yes, it was difficult, the hours were long, my call nights were ALL bad with the exception of one, the call room sucked (phone stolen, stuff stolen by housekeeping, non-working bathroom equipment), and some of the residents and attendings had bad attitudes. But I worked really hard, tried to stay positive, and with the exception of one attending who was with me for two days, got outstanding reviews from everyone. I'm now on family medicine and working with a team that is very good about including the students in the care of the patient and very attentive to teaching. Again, long hours and sometimes difficult attendings or residents (rare), but I work hard and also truly care about the people that are my patients. It is all well worth it when the people that you work with tell you that you're doing well, and even more so when your patients tell you what a good doc you'll be. My opinions may change once I hit surgery and OB/gyn in the spring, but so far I'm loving it and learning more than ever.
     
  7. fourthyear

    fourthyear Senior Member
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    I loved 3rd year - it was just what I went to med school for, to interact with patients.

    Several things will help you get the most and be the happiest 3rd year:
    1. Don't be intimidated. When you get "pimped", think of it as a learning opportunity - that's what it should be.

    2. Learn to deal with people who are jerks. When residents or attendings seem mean (which is rare, but is talked about so much), think of it as a challenge to not get your feelings hurt - in any job in the world you will have bosses or coworkers you don't really like, but you have to find a way to get along with them anyway. At least in our job, we get to switch who we work with every month. Most people are stuck with them for years.

    3. Learn to take criticism. You don't know everything, you probably never will. It's okay, that's why it takes so long to train to be a doctor. When someone tells you do do something a different way or read up on something, be thankful they told you so you will know in the future.

    4. Work hard - for yourself and your future. When you have the choice to do a rotation at an easy vs a hard hospital, choose the hard one. You will learn more if you see more patients and more variety of problems - you can't learn nearly as much on the easy services, no matter how much time you spend studying. Take the opportunities to see as much as possible.

    Using these basic principles I had a lot of good experiences 3rd year and came out of it feeling like I'd learned more than I ever could have imagined learning in 1 year and feeling that, yes, one day I will be a good doctor.
     
  8. fourthyear

    fourthyear Senior Member
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    one more - go into each rotation with an open mind. Even if you know you dont' want to do a certain specialty, there is something you can learn from it. Always be interested and enthusiastic about everything - you will be a happier person, people will be nicer to you, and you just might learn something you will use in some completely unrelated specialty.
     
  9. SomeFakeName

    SomeFakeName Membership Revoked
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    I just don't agree with showing interest and enthusiasm for something you have absolutely no desire to do. There are some parts of medicine that I wouldn't touch with the proverbial 10-foot pole, but am nevertheless forced to do them as requirements for graduation. There are so many other students in my class who feel this way also about certain rotations, but some of them choose to show up everyday with a transparent smile on their face and feign interest. You wouldn't know it if you were on rounds with them, but as soon as the day is over they complain and moan about how they'd never go into the field of medicine they are rotating through. But the next day they show up again acting all interested and enthusiastic as if this rotation was the greatest since the conception of medicine itself. So essentially they go around trying to fool the attendings and residents that are evaluating them that they are really interested in the field so that they can get good evaluations...total phonies in my book. The ones I have more respect for are the ones who don't try to hide their dislike for a certain rotation. There is one dude on my team who has basically let everybody know that he has absolutely no desire to enter the field of medicine we are rotating through, leaves as early as he can, and has done the absolute minimum during the rotation thus far. He will definetely not get a good evaluation and most of the residents don't care too much for him, but he could care less. As somebody once told me...it's better to be yourself and get a poor evaluation rather than be a complete phoney and get a good one. Because in the end, who cares what people think of you or what evaluation you get when you're finally a doctor.:clap:
     
  10. Whisker Barrel Cortex

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    You can be yourself, let your residents know you're not interested in their field, and still do a good job. These are not mutually exclusive. As much as you dislike a field, working as part of a team is essential on any rotation and getting out of there early and not doing any work is just pathetic. I told my OB/GYN residents and attendings early on that I was going into radiology, but still did my part to help as much as possible. This is not kissing ass! It is being a responsible student and doing your part.
     
  11. Fanconi

    Fanconi Senior Member
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    Sheesh. That's painful.

    Think about it this way, folks. Would you rather be around a total grouch or someone who can at least be pleasant company even when the rotation sucks ass?

    Sure, I there were days when I absolutely loathed what I was doing, but I always put on my happy face. I didn't do this to get a good evaluation. I did it because I knew my frustration would be temporary, and why be a sour puss when instead you can just smile and realize that every single med student has to go through the same **** you do?

    Rubyness, that's the worst advice I've ever heard for making what could be a very challenging and exhausting year somewhat bearable.

    SomeFakeName, I hope you're not going into a field with any form of patient contact. :laugh:
     
  12. shag

    shag Supreme Procrastinator
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    Neurogirl, I love you! :D I wish you were one of my residents!

    I'm 3 months into my third year, and have observed that:

    The third year is about feeling stupid... The learning curve is almost vertical. Although you may know a lot about lecture room zebras, you have no idea about practical clinical practice.

    This is often complicated by rotations where your role is fuzzy at best. Asking about your responsibilities or asking what you can do to help often receives vague answers like: "Do whatever you want", "Why don't you go read up on your patients (what patients, I don't have any); We're (everyone on the team with MD behind their name) busy", etc...

    Also, by the time you are comfortable with a service or team, you are rotated on to something else. The cycle of uncomfortableness (is that a word?) and defining your role begins anew.

    Conversely,
    The third year is also about accepting the fact that you can't know everything, and that feeling stupid is OK. Most people who "pimp" you are doing so with intent to teach. Even on the worst days, I feel that I still learn much more than any week of lecture.

    You also have to accept that you will be put in uncomfortable situations, and your upper levels aren't always going to attempt to include you in the team (the most frustrating thing of all!). This is where you have to be "proactive", and "go with the flow".

    As far as showing interest goes, residents in a given field chose that field for a reason... They are interested in it! If you show interest in the field, or at least demonstrate that you are trying to learn and help, you will get along much better. Positive attude and work ethic = better team dynamic = better student evaluations.


    Hmm, I have a feeling that OB residents like delivering babies. That's probably why they are in an OB residency :) If you want deliveries, you have to be proactive. Watch the board, or better yet, go into the room with the resident and check the patient. When you feel/hear C/C/+1, hang out in the room and help the patient push. When she is ready to deliver, and the resident is called, you should be gowned, gloved, and in position. I've noticed that residents rarely "bump" you if you do this. I've also noticed that if you hang around the board and only follow the resident into the room when he/she is called, you get to deliver lots of placentas :)

    Anyway, I'm rambling (being on call does that to ya). The bottom line is that the 3rd year is tough, but you get out of it what you put in. I have worked with many wonderful people and several enthusiastic teachers. Unfortunately, I have worked on a few sucky teams and with more than one a$$hole. When you end up in a less than ideal situation, you have to hang in there and roll with the punches. When you are part of a great team, with team mates who love to teach, you milk it for all its worth!
     
  13. rubyness

    rubyness Senior Member
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    shag, thanks for the OB advice--I'll definitely try that. Thanks to everyone who is sharing their viewpoints and experiences--this is really getting good!!
     
  14. Lisa_OSU

    Lisa_OSU Junior Member
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    Ditto Shag and Neurogirl and Fourthyear! I agree with everything they've said. The thing I would like to add is to remember that we are there for the patient. We are part of a team that is contributing to the care of real live human beings. People who are often scared, hurting, in need. They don't really need to burdened with a medical student who has a bad attitude because he has no interest in peds, or OB, or surgery, or whatever rotation he's doing. They need someone who is professional and does their job to the best of their ability even when parts of it are personally distasteful. So if I smile and am courteous and treat the people around me with me respect, it doesn't mean I am being fake--it means I am being a professional and a grown-up.
     
  15. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire
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    Everyone has made excellent points. Hopefully, SomeFakeName and others like him/her will see the error of their ways. Another thing to keep in mind is that although you may specialize in a particular field, people (patients, other physicians, family, friends, etc.) will expect you to know SOMETHING about everything. If you try to skate through your required rotations, you'll only be hurting yourself. Everytime I have a patient with multiple medical problems, or someone asks me a question they forgot to ask their own doctor, I am ever so thankful for all those "unnecessary" required rotations. You may end up as a specialist, but society will always think of you as a physician first and a specialist second.


    To Lisa,

    Very well said!!!!:clap: :clap: :clap:



    To Shag,

    Honey, you can come work with me anytime!:love:
     
  16. Clip

    Clip Junior Member
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    My first day when I really felt like a doctor-to-be was when I ran into the son of a patient who I had seen at another hospital (where I was for the hospital portion of my family med rotation) at the main hospital for my school. When he hugged me and told me that I had really helped his mother, it made me feel like that the reasons I chose to go to med school (to use my talents to help others) were validated.
    Another series of good memories was my entire peds rotation. I met so many wonderful interns, residents, and attendings and fell in love with the speciality which was quite amusing as I started the year with the "I'll do anything but peds" mentality. The patients were wonderful and I'm actually considering it as a future career option.
     
  17. Ludy

    Ludy Senior Member
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    I've really enjoyed 3rd year so far. Yes, I've only had psych and neuro, but I haven't gotten any abuse from residents or attendings. Everyone's gone out of their way to make sure I'm welcome and that I'm having a good educational experience (well, for the most part). I think the hardest part so far has been dealing with some of the other students, which kind of surprised me.
    There's one guy on my team now who carries around a clipboard full of review articles on every conceivable neurological disease, and whenever I have a patient with a new disease, he'll yell "wait, wait, I know I have an article about that" and whip out articles for the team. Then one night, he came in after we'd all gone home and admitted a bunch of patients himself so that the next morning on rounds, he presented all the patients. He always seems to find a way to get the most interesting patients assigned to himself... and I could go on, but the idea is that he's driving the other 3 students on the team crazy.

    Neurogirl (and anyone else), what do residents think of students like that? "Wow, what a motivated guy" or "Geez, what a pain in the butt?"
     
  18. Neurogirl

    Neurogirl Resident Extraordinaire
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    That is a bit much...even by my high standards. I guess it depends on his motivations. Is he really trying to help the team or just suck up to them? Although everyone likes a real go-getter, no one likes a brown noser. Remember, it hasn't been that long since WE were students. We can usually figure out who's a stud and who's a bottom kissing dud!:laugh:

    Also, it may be that he's actually interested in neuro and considering it as a career choice. When you become attracted to a specialty, you find yourself going above and beyond and doing everything you can to impress those superior to you...even residents. Although residents don't make the final decisions, they can make or break an applicant, so it's good to have them on your side.

    The most important thing to remember is that if you find him annoying, we probably do too...even if we don't actually say anything. The best way for you to deal with this type of student is to just grin and bear it. Always thank him for his help and never speak poorly of him around your superiors. Taking the high road is gracious and always makes YOU look good. Besides, you'll be rid of him soon enough.;)
     
  19. fourthyear

    fourthyear Senior Member
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    Usually it seems you get more respect by being a team-player, not by resorting to these tactics. I mean, it's cool if he's so into it he wants to stay late, but it would be cooler if he mentioned it to the other students so it's not like he's going behind your back.

    And as far as the articles...I have sometimes found myself interested in other student's pateints and when I read something interesting about whatever the patient has, I pass it on to the student whose patient it is so they can present it to the team if they want. This way we all learn, and it is more of a team effort, not like I'm trying to make myself look good. And maybe next time they read somethign about my patients they will pass it on to me too.

    I think this guy sounds like he's going a bit too far to make himself look better than the others, and that's probably not going to turn out too good for him. Hopefully he'll learn quickly and tone it down a bit.
     
  20. Acro Yali

    Acro Yali Senior Member
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    Thanks neurogirl and fourthyear. I am going through something like that in my rotation group and its good to know that our "bosses" can look through the show some people would put on to look better than the other person. But I don't neccesarily agree with the high road thing though. If people only take the high road, how would those people know?
     
  21. kbkaggie

    kbkaggie Member
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    where can i find the link to greg nicholson's novel? i found it a few days ago and now i cant remember where it is-
    -k
     
  22. snowprincess

    snowprincess Senior Member
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    i'm going to be starting med school next year - a nontrad student --
    Just wanted to let you guys know that being polite and helpful towards the patients is always a plus. I was going through 20+ hrs of labor one of the white coats kept coming in and checking the monitor. But if i asked any questions, she'll say that she'll have to ask the nurse to come in and then no one would for quite some time:confused: Let me tell ya, the best person(s) at that time were a nurse who understood what a struggle it is and was sympathetic...
    the anesthesiology resident and attending were also very helpful and tried to answer my questions or find out for me what was happening next,etc. This is always nice from the perspective of the patient when the doctors are all busy - to have someone willing to listen and answer - even if they are stupid questions...:laugh:
     
  23. agent

    agent agent, RN
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    agreed.. being a d1ck will get you nowhere.
     

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