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Things I Hate About Third Year

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Mr. Hat, Oct 7, 2011.

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  1. Mr. Hat

    Mr. Hat 10+ Year Member

    Dec 20, 2006
    Time for a little vent thread, for my sanity. Feel free to add your own....

    1) Putting 4 hours of work into a 12 hour day. No, I don't want to watch you write notes. No, I don't want to listen to you talk on the phone to your girlfriend. No, I don't want to type you a 349th practice H&P that doesn't count. If we're done here, let me go home. If this were the corporate world, this stuff would never be acceptable.

    2) Classmates who would sell their mother to make themselves look good/ make you look bad. Dude, that's my patient. The attending asked for a procedure to be done and you saw me leave the room to get my supplies. Running out of the room after me, past me, and grabbing the supplies before I can get there and doing the procedure on my patient isn't cool. This isn't a contest. Well, it may be the biggest d-bag contest.... Congrats, you won.

    3) Residents or Attendings who have me pick up a patient.... after they have already seen them, examined them, and ordered everything. Nothing says "I'm a little poser" like walking into a room and saying to that patient, "Hi ma'am, I'm the medical student working with Dr. X. Tell me about what's going on today". Patient: "Uh, I already saw the doctor". Me: "Yeah.... he wants me to play doctor with you, see my cool short white coat!!"

    4) Attendings with rules designed to put you in your place. Example: I am not allowed to sit down when they are sitting talking to the patient. 30 minute office visit, three stools in the room. But when they are in there, I am to stand - no sitting, no leaning on the counter. Stand at attention.

    Some days I feel like third year is going to suck the life out of me. Sometimes I miss corporate America. Wow, never thought I'd say that.

    Feel free to add your own.... a good vent feels good! :)
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  3. VoiceofReason

    VoiceofReason all i care about is money 7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    New York
    third year sucks and so does half of fourth dont let anyone tell you different
    cbrons, Uafl112 and ExpatmeStat like this.
  4. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member

    I don't think this is a universally true generalization. Most students that I've spoken to here admit that it can be stupid at times and is very time consuming, but on the whole they enjoy it.
    zeppelinpage4 likes this.
  5. bauber

    bauber Pathology yo 5+ Year Member

    Jun 20, 2011
    All of medical school sucks.
  6. BeastInfection

    BeastInfection 2+ Year Member

    Sep 19, 2011
    Same. People I've talked to at my school tend to say MS1<MS2<MS3<<<<MS4. That said, they've tended to be the types who are super enthused about all things clinical.
  7. CptCrunch

    CptCrunch Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 3, 2005
    The suck doesn't end with medical school.
  8. turkeyjerky

    turkeyjerky 7+ Year Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    You'll quickly find yourself cursing those people under your breath come third year.

    That's insane, how does someone even tell you not to sit down, or did he just shoot you a look the first time you did it?
  9. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Yup. Sucks big time. It was a lot better as an intern, and it's getting even better as a PGY-2. It's really awesome when you can figure out the plan before you even staff the patient with your attending, and you can just tell the patient what you're going to do with them.

    That's atrocious. I often ran into problems where there weren't enough seats, or I'd have been sitting in the corner, so I would just stand, but no one ever said "don't sit down."
  10. VoiceofReason

    VoiceofReason all i care about is money 7+ Year Member

    Apr 23, 2006
    New York
    its a defense mechanism. 3rd year blows they just cant come to grips with it - after 2 years of garbage it gets worse not better
  11. AlexMorph

    AlexMorph 10+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    You are one of the most entertaining posters on SDN. I hope you have something fun to look forward to in life because it looks like medicine is killing you slowly.

    But yea...3rd year...suxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  12. searun

    searun 5+ Year Member

    Jul 31, 2006
    New Jersey would sour anyone's disposition. Quite understandable.
  13. FrickenhugeMD

    FrickenhugeMD 5+ Year Member

    I can relate to number 3 OP. I was scolded after I sat down once on surgery when the team was rounding. Mind you, there was about 12 of us, it wasnt my pt, and I was at the back of the crowd. Never have I wanted to send the tip of my ball point into the back of someones orbit more. It was even in front of the rest of the team.

    Similar story on FM, not only was it an entire month of 8-6 shadowing, I was forced to stand awkwardly in a corner most of the time.

    Thank God for 4th year. The light at the end of the tunnel is near! Much better experiences this year so far too
  14. Valadi

    Valadi 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2010

    Definitely had some attendings state that, "Med students learn better when standing," when a patient told me to pull up a chair.

    Good times.
  15. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Dagobah System
    My least favorite by far is sitting there doing nothing for hours on end waiting for someone to let me go home.
    gujuDoc likes this.
  16. Sheldor

    Sheldor 5+ Year Member

    May 21, 2011
    A thousand times this!!
  17. Instatewaiter

    Instatewaiter But... there's a troponin 10+ Year Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    That light at the end of the tunnel is actually a train coming at you called intern year.

    That is just cruel, but hilarious. I have to remember that one.
    Rev Stevo and royalmedicus like this.
  18. FrickenhugeMD

    FrickenhugeMD 5+ Year Member

    TY year -----> Rads

    Wont be as bad for me as some
  19. sanityonleave

    sanityonleave Adrenaline Junkie 7+ Year Member

    Sep 16, 2008
    Truth. That place is a cesspool.
  20. Jack is Back

    Jack is Back

    May 27, 2011
    East coast schools are pretty hardcore... "no sitting", lol.
  21. raynor123456

    raynor123456 MS3

    Aug 25, 2010
    Overall, 3rd year has been enjoyable for me because I've had pretty awesome residents for the most part. However, having said that, I still totally agree with the lameness of all the issues you outlined.

    1. Yep. Honestly, med students are pretty useless after morning rounds. We should pre-round, round, tie up loose ends and update sign-outs, and then go home unless there is something hands-on that we can be doing. We still need to study!

    2. I'm actually saddened at how well many of the d-bags can play nice. I always figured that the d-bags would expose themselves, but 1-4 week rotations with any given team is not long enough for many of the d-bags' true colors to come out.

    3. Only partially in agreement here. I've come to realize it doesn't matter whether I see the patient before or after the attending/resident. I'm equally as useless. The best you can do is pretend you're managing the patient so that you can occasionally make a useful recommendation (perhaps you spent more time on your PE than the resident and heard some crackles on auscultation) and train yourself to be them. It's frustrating coming in looking like a dork after someone else already did all the important stuff, but we're not competent enough to do anything else. And, if we don't just go along with it and pretend, we don't learn.

    4. That would suck. Luckily, I haven't had many a-hole attendings. The worse thing that's happened to me so far is that I was ignored :p
  22. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom Banned 10+ Year Member

    I hate the BS grading
  23. MilkmanAl

    MilkmanAl Al the Ass Mod 7+ Year Member

    1-4 were minimized for me in M3. I was very, very lucky. The only time I had problems with 1 was on peds, and that was freaking miserable. I hate wasting time for no reason. Everyone I worked with was cool and helpful, so no issues with 2. I just sort of accepted 3 at first and got competent enough after the first semester that I was seeing patients on my own. My attendings were pretty awesome throughout the year, so no problems with 4.

    M4 has actually been pretty rough so far. I had to be on the ball for the first two months while I was scrounging up rec letters, so that was no fun. Last month was Step 2 studying, and this month is an away at a place I'd like to do residency at. After this, I can start my glorious senior slide. The people in my AI next month will probably hate me. :smuggrin:
  24. officedepot

    officedepot Banned 2+ Year Member

    Jan 7, 2009
    1. Very much agree. I hate sitting around after morning rounds. I hate it even more when the attending wants to round twice so he/she can teach. Oh how I hate that so much. I would much rather be home reading. Don't forget the lectures and crap you have to go to as well.

    2. have kinda run into this. I have to work with the most annoying hardcore super obgyn person there is for that entire 8 wk rotation (6 to go!). Is miserable. So far she hasn't been that bad but is still really really annoying.

    3. that's why you should try to see the patient first, introduce yourself as "student doctor" and proceed to do a hx and PE. Then say you're going to "discuss it with the team" after you tell the patient some basic stuff. You'll get better. But we are there to learn and right now we don't know what to do (and won't even until 2nd yr residency I'd imagine for the most part). It's all how you introduce yourself to a patient. granted some are annoying but that's why you should go there first.

    4. VERY much agree and have this crap happen to me all the time. It sort of is unwritten though.

    yeah 3rd year blows a big one man. 4th year is better because you have way more elective time to do what you want. Also rotations like EM are more interesting for students. I'm not really looking forward to medicine sub-i or ICU (since I'm interested in rads) but whatever. On the whole it'll be better than having to sit through 8 wks of psych!!!
  25. silverhorse84

    silverhorse84 5+ Year Member

    Mar 31, 2008
    The only one of those that I've experienced is number 1 (which I think is inevitable). Even so, there have been several times when I've been sitting around doing nothing for a little while and my resident will tell me "you're not learning anything, go home" (or go study and come back if it's early in the day). I think I've been lucky in that I've had fairly good attendings and residents who understand that medical students are here to learn (even in surgery!). I feel fairly "protected" from the scut work and non-learning experiences, while I look at what the interns do and dread the day I become one.

    The "no sitting allowed" thing seems a bit over the top. I've had quite the opposite - especially on family med; the attendings/residents keep insisting that I sit all the time. Sometimes I just want to stand because I've been sitting all day, but they still point to the chair and insist that I sit down.

    The thing that I really don't like, is when a resident sends me to see a new patient, I do a full H&P, present to the resident and he goes into see the patient and asks all the same questions. I understand that if I forget something, that would need to be addressed, but to ask the SAME EXACT questions I asked and presented the answers to the resident seems a bit ridiculous. Especially when the patients give the same answers - I understand that trust is earned, but after a few patients give the same stories that I present to the resident, I would think they would begin to trust my abilities as an information gatherer. I just feel it undermines me in front of the patient.
    -- Even so, this has only happened with a couple of the residents I encountered on surgery. Most residents haven't done this and will only address things I may have forgotten to ask or do.
  26. xanthomondo

    xanthomondo nom nom nom Banned 10+ Year Member

    I think psych was one of the better rotations. Even though you were usually sitting there watching someone else work, you always got to watch a comedy show.
  27. dienekes88

    dienekes88 7+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    For me, the worst part was starting a new rotation after having developed a good relationship with the previous team. It's always jarring to show up day 1 and remember that no one trusts you.
  28. Rollo

    Rollo Renowned Wolf 2+ Year Member

    Mar 12, 2009
    Philadelphia, PA
    I'm not sure if this happens to anyone else but how about when the group of residents/attendings/office staff have known each other for so long that their conversations seem totally alien to you because they're filled with inside references, inside jokes, ongoing adventures within the group, etc.??

    Nothing is more awkward to me than standing there while pretending to laugh at what was apparently a hilarious joke and if I don't laugh then I just look like a creeper awkward med student.....

  29. Guevara M.D.

    Guevara M.D. Junior Member 7+ Year Member

    Mar 24, 2006
    haha...the OP hit the nail RIGHT on the head. M3 year is making me forget there are such things as happiness and beauty in the World. Well...M3 year and bed sores that I can stick my whole hand into...

    The absolutely worst thing about M3...even worse than the horrible subjective grading, waking up at 3 30, standing for four hours in an OR for no discernible reason since you can't see anything and no one's teaching you anything...even worse that all that...is learning the reality of medicine and that it's filled with petty, arrogant, unfriendly people.

    I literally had a Plastics attending denigrate an Ortho doc's plan by saying "My board scores are higher than his...I'm smarter than he is."

    I had no idea Medicine was so regimented and hierarchical. It's like the Military. It kills me inside to see intelligent adults being humiliated by other, slightly older adults in a way that would not be accepted in any other field.
  30. Valadi

    Valadi 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    I really like the militaristic aspect of it. It was one of my big draws to surgery. Humiliation is wildly unnecessary and that attending's comment was really out of place, but in general, top-down works and you get **** done. I freaking love having a right answer, and a wrong answer, then boom, you do it. The end.

    If you've spent any time in corporate America, you'd be able to see that denigration of colleagues occurs there too. It's not unique to medicine. At least here, when you're 50 you're likely to be at the top of ladder and won't have to deal with a 27 year old holding your job over your head.
    Leg and Jeffers21 like this.
  31. todds

    todds Member 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    One of the biggest lessons from third year is that you HAVE to be pro-active. You have to be the one to fix problems otherwise everyone else is to busy/doesnt care enough to fix it for you.

    1. Carry things around with you to read. Print out articles/chapter of a book from MD consult and then read while you are waiting. Its amazing how much reading you can get done while waiting, whether your on the floors, the OR or clinic, theres a ton of waiting so every student should have something on them to read. That way you save time by not having to do anything when you get home.

    2. If someone does this, call them out. Seriously, some people are not conscious of the fact that they are d-bags ...let that person know that was uncalled for. I bet if you call them out on it, most would be reluctant to do it again.

    3. I'm not sure why the resident would do that. I would politely ask the resident to see the patient before they do or at least with them. In my experience residents are pretty good about if you're pro-active...If they insist, perhaps you can just confirm the findings of physical exam?

    4. This one is stupid on your attendings part. But ask them if you can do the physical before they do so at least you dont waste ALL your time standing.
  32. fiznat

    fiznat Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    Mar 18, 2004
    You people are depressing me. As a MS1 all I can think about is how much better the clinical years will be...
    Lost In Transcription likes this.
  33. AlexMorph

    AlexMorph 10+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2007
    They wont...grab that hemlock now...
  34. NearnstPotentia


    Sep 17, 2011
    Good idea. Where might I purchase hemlock?

    nvm I'll just go with potassium
  35. NearnstPotentia


    Sep 17, 2011
    All these complaints about 3rd year make me wonder how in the world you honor consistently enough to get something like Ortho or RadOnc....

    I guess I'll just try and MURDER Step1
  36. Siverhideo1985

    Siverhideo1985 7+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2008
    the people who enjoy third year don't come on here to tell you. In general, third year is a lot better than the first two years, and that's true for the majority of the people I know.

    Third year can be frustrating at times, for sure. But you'd be hard-pressed to find a lot of students who'd trade it for more of MS1/2. In general, SDN just provides an outlet for all the whining that you can't do with your co-workers because they'll call you on your BS.
  37. LMarie_MD2b

    LMarie_MD2b AP/CP/Cytopathologist 10+ Year Member

    Oct 23, 2006
    Fly-Over Country
    ^^^This. I enjoyed third (and the first 30% of fourth) year, and did quite well, even though I knew before I started my clerkships that I wouldn't be doing clinical medicine after I graduated. (I guess that made me want to get as much out of it all as I could, maybe??)

    You couldn't pay me enough to go back to MS1/2, or to take Step 1 again, even though I have bitched about CK and CS, and have had issues with #1-3 in the OPs post. Number four is just ridiculous... who does that?

    Third year can be frustrating because there is a huge paradigm shift from you controlling the vast majority of your time (even if you ARE spending most of it studying) to you doing the bidding of others, with the added task of triaging clinical work, didactics, study time, some sliver of a social life, and other basic human needs. However, once you get your own system (emphasis on your own) established, there is a lot to enjoy. Studying became a lot more interesting, since I was actually seeing what I read about, and I didn't have to study as much because I learned while I was working.

    There will be sh**ty days, sh**ty people, sh**ty patients, and even sh**ty rotations, but it's all very bearable, at worst.
  38. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side 5+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    Thankfully I never had to deal with any of the 4 things listed.

    Of course there are times when you're not really contributing anything or being taught and you just want to go home but can't. But I did my best to always have a book handy or get to a computer and do questions.

    3rd year can wildly vary at the same institution just depending on your team. I had great teams for Surgery and IM and they went about as well as a hard rotation can go. The only thing I truly hated was OB and part of that was because I had it last when I was burned out and I started off with 4 straight weeks of L&D. The free time on Psych, FM, and Peds allowed those rotations to be enjoyable

    In terms of enjoyment of the actual material/work my ranking of the years goes like this M4>>M2>M3>M1.

    Considering free time and the ability to do things outside of medicine my ranking of the years goes like this M4>M1>M3>M2. M4 has been stressful with getting letters, waiting on invites, and doing audition electives but it's still been great. I know a lot of people complain about 3rd year but in my experience half of 3rd year is much easier and more enjoyable than M2. The way I studied on certain rotations would not have worked at all M2.

    In terms of free time and how
  39. DrYoda

    DrYoda Space Cowboy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 22, 2008
    Dagobah System
    I'm enjoying third year for the most part, but the amount of time it takes up alone keeps it from being the oasis that people try to sell it as to pre-clinical students. It was really nice being able to maintain a more college-like lifestyle during 1st and 2nd year, being up early, working long hours and coming in on weekends kills the fun big time.

    So basically, as far as what you do at school M3>M1/2, but when you factor in personal life I give the edge in overall happiness to M1 and M2.

    Shelf exams are a more objective measure and (at least at my school) make up a big chunk of your grade. And even the evals I don't think are that big of a mystery: get along/don't be annoying and work hard.
  40. Valadi

    Valadi 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    The whole year becomes much more palatable when you come to grips with the fact that 1) you know nothing, 2) you're a bit**, and 3) you're a bit** that knows nothing.

    Attending doesn't like the way you did X? Just say, "Done." And do it his way. Stand all the time? "Very good, I love standing." Retract harder? "Of course." Nothing to do? "Let me help with something." Still nothing to do? "I'm going to check on my patients and ask the nurse to teach me blood draws because I'm not good at them yet. When can I come back to continue being your bit**?"

    People that have a hard time leaving their ego at the door have the hardest time with third year. If criticism doesn't phase you, it'll go by smoothly.

    If you do the above and honors your shelf, you will honors the course. I've seen lots very bright of kids at my school not get honors marks even by honoring the shelf because of things ranging from arguing with an attending to just carrying a douchey look on their face.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  41. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side 5+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    3rd evals are definitely about playing the game. Playing the game can get tiring though especially if you're not interested in the subject matter or know it's not relevant to your chosen specialty. I saw it in myself and other classmates. Apathy grew exponentially
  42. Valadi

    Valadi 5+ Year Member

    Aug 1, 2010
    It does. And it's understandable. I had to give myself a pep talk every morning to bring myself in for OB/Gyn - which I thought was absolutely miserable.

    I think academic differentiation in med school, where people are at a much similar level of intellect when compared to college, boils down in large part to discipline. Forcing yourself to keep smiling, showing enthusiasm, staying humble, and reading about something absurdly tedious (I might actually stab myself if I had to study ASC-US/AG-US stuff again) is just part of it. I wish I knew how to 'force' myself in my first 2 years because for the majority of AOA students, it was just time put in that made the difference.

    There's really no secret to med school; it's just constant hard work with a positive demeanor. What kept me going through it was knowing that P=MD but H=I can choose any career.
  43. meowdoc


    Jul 10, 2011
    reiteration is key: med school sucks
    Zedor likes this.
  44. 45408

    45408 aw buddy 7+ Year Member

    Jun 13, 2004
    Trust but verify. Furthermore, you're apparently too green to have realized this, but patients change their stories, a lot. What you heard may be different from what they here. Also, the resident may also be putting a fairly subtle spin on your question, such that you think they're asking the same thing, even though it's a little different.

    Usually though, I'll walk in and say something to the effect of "So I understand that you've had 3 days of abd pain, is that right?"
    spmed19 and Darth Doc like this.
  45. Doublecortin

    Doublecortin 5+ Year Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    yeah, especially the first 3 years
  46. Gastrapathy

    Gastrapathy no longer apathetic Lifetime Donor 10+ Year Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    And then the attending will often come by later and get the hx again. History taking is an art. You are nowhere near far enough along in your training to take offense to this. In fact, I'd fail an intern that just accepted the MS3's H&P as gospel.

    For the OP, everything on your list is petty EXCEPT asking you to write an H&P. That is a critical academic exercise and you haven't done it enough to claim that you can't learn from doing it again.
  47. thepoopologist

    thepoopologist Ph.D in Clinical Meconium Bronze Donor 7+ Year Member

    Oct 24, 2009
    Yes they do, and thankfully there are attendings and residents that recognize that.
  48. stimuluspackage

    stimuluspackage 2+ Year Member

    Aug 9, 2009
    The worst part about third year for me so far has been the lack of objectivity in grading at my school. Nobody even cares about shelf scores. I got the 2nd highest score in my class on the FM shelf and got HP. On medicine, I got 2 SD's above my rotation's mean on the shelf, and got a Pass. My evals were good. It's not like I'm a serial killer who just tests well. I know people with low shelf scores on both those rotations who got honors. Of course, they had clerkship directors as their attendings. SO annoying.
  49. rocketbooster

    rocketbooster Banned Banned 5+ Year Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    Jesus Christ stop complaining. it beats sitting in front of a laptop for 10 hours/day studying all the time like in 1st and 2nd years. I know there is still some studying to do in 3rd and 4th years, but nothing like during the 1st 2 years! I am a second year and cannot WAIT for clinicals. I'm so tired of sitting in front of a laptop all day everyday.

    I've talked to many 3rd and 4th years too and they all say clinicals are WAAAY better than the first 2 years since you are actually in the hospital working with people. They said it's more time consuming but still way better than studying in front of a laptop all day. Stop complaining.
    spmed19 likes this.
  50. 2012mdc

    2012mdc Enjoying the Dark Side 5+ Year Member

    Mar 8, 2010
    Dude it all depends on how 3rd year is at your particular school. 3rd year was better than 2nd for me bc I was a decent worker and likable enough to get good evals so all I had to do was handle my biz on the shelf exams to get honors. If I was crushing shelf exams, getting good evals, and still not getting honors like the previous poster I would have hated 3rd year.

    If a school has very subjective grading or if you get unlucky with bad teams 3rd year can absolutely blow.

    If you're going to judge I'm going to do the same and wonder why you were studying 10 hrs a day preclinically especially during 1st year.
  51. NickNaylor

    NickNaylor Thank You for Smoking Lifetime Donor 7+ Year Member


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