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Transitional Year Fears

Discussion in 'General Residency Issues' started by Reaganite, Apr 27, 2007.

  1. Reaganite

    Reaganite Member 10+ Year Member

    Apr 6, 2006
    When I found out I matched at a transitional year, I was initially pretty excited. The thought of doing a prelim medicine year seriously made me want to barf :) . Now, I'm having second thoughts. I'm kind of nervous about the idea of constantly changing specialties. In a prelim medicine year, I think you may initially struggle your first couple of months. After a while, though, I hear you eventually start seeing the same things over and over, and due to the constant repetition, get the hang of it. In a transitional year, though, you're always changing specialties, and I worry that every month I'm going to be back at square one! Anyone experience this?
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  3. colbgw02

    colbgw02 Delightfully Tacky 10+ Year Member

    I'm doing a transitional year now, so I'll share a few thoughts...

    The biggest frustration is not having a "home" rotation; you're always the off-service intern. In a hospital where there are many different residency programs, that can mean that you can get screwed because programs will look after their own. It's usually not a huge deal; just things like you'll always get picked to take that one extra Saturday call, or you'll always pick up the first hit on call days. If it's anything more than that, then we can typically go to our director who fixes things.

    Remember that all interns have a huge learning curve. So even if you're on service with medicine interns, they're not going to be light years ahead of you, at least not at first. Later on in the year, you'll be able to be a greater breadth of knowledge to your rotation. Like right now in the ED, I can tell my attending exactly what the pediatricians will want because I've been there. Whereas the medicine and surgery folks are mostly clueless.

    Also, remember that not only are transitional internships are competitive, but so are the categorical residencies that people go on to complete. People recognize this, and they realize that even though you may be going into derm or rads, you had to be pretty darn good at everything else too.

    Lastly, there's not a huge difference between many transitional years and medicine internships at a lot of places. Chances are that you'll get plenty of medicine under your belt. Actually, it'll almost certainly be enough that you'll cherish those electives and non-medicine rotations like they are gold.
  4. Pooh & Annie

    Pooh & Annie Member 10+ Year Member

    Jul 15, 2005
    Everything pretty much revolves around medicine, so whatever rotation you're on, the stuff you learned in the past will most likely be applicable. That's kind of the cool thing. I'm on an ER rotation now, and I finished an anesthesia rotation last month. I use what I learned OFTEN. And I've done several medicine rotations, and use that info all the time. Same with the ICU rotation. And reading films is a skill you'll improve on pretty much every rotation.
    Anyway, what I'm saying is I understand what you mean, but it really is NOTHING to worry about. How you feel about the people you work with is a bigger factor than anything, as far as how happy you are on a rotation. And you'll learn more by practicing in diverse areas as opposed to the same thing over-and-over again. It doesn't take too many COPDers or CHFers to learn the proper management.
    The months of better sleep and improvement on your golf game are also big advantages.

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