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Weird q' from a pre-med....

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by Chadleez1, Oct 18, 2001.

  1. Chadleez1

    Chadleez1 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Sep 24, 2001
    Missouri
    Okay, let me preface my question with yes, I know there is a BIG difference between real life and ER. But, I'm sitting here watching ER and wondering something: Do 3rd and 4th year med students have to wear pagers during their clerkships? Again, weird question, but I figured you guys are the best resource out there!
     
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  3. AJM

    AJM SDN Moderator Moderator Emeritus 7+ Year Member

    1,117
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    Jun 25, 2001
    Boston
    I don't think there is any written rule that clinical med students have to wear pagers, but it's expected that a med student does have one. Pagers are more important on inpatient rotations rather than in the ER or in the outpatient setting. In the inpatient rotations, the team gets spread out between wards, so you need the pager for people to maintain contact with you.

    Although as a clinical med student, I think the vast majority of my pages are "social" pages from my friends and boyfriend. ;)
     
  4. Starflyr

    Starflyr Manic Faerie 10+ Year Member

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    Apr 11, 2000
    Dickinson, Tx
    Hi Chad,

    I dont know about other places, but at UTMB, we are "given" our pagers at the time of registration for first year. Technically, we are "required" to wear them at all times - 1st - 4th year - though in actuality, very few of us do, though most of us have them SOMEWHERE nearby (backpack, what have you).

    Star
     
  5. Chadleez1

    Chadleez1 Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    134
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    Sep 24, 2001
    Missouri
    Thanks for clearing that up for me!
     
  6. tonem

    tonem Senior Member 10+ Year Member

    619
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    Sep 13, 1999
    USA
    I guess it depends on where you go to school. We're given pagers on the first day of 3rd year. I was paged much more in my in patient rotations than I am now in my outpatient ones.
     
  7. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    I used to think that having a pager during the third-year was a little silly. No one's ever gonna have to page you for an emergency as a third-year med student and no one's ever gonna have such an urgent question about a patient that the third-year's gonna have to be paged.

    But now I have one. And I use it because my school requires overnight call and I usually ask my resident to page me when there's an admission -- that way I don't waste time sitting around the residents lounge or the nurses station (where there will always be patients asking for something) and I can get some reading/sleep done.
     
  8. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    Whisker Barrel Cortex 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    1,785
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    Aug 10, 2001
    Midwest
    Our school doesn't require pagers, but everyone has one (we got a deal through school just prior to 3rd year). I personally think a pager is a necessity on ward rotations. You are part of a team. Of course they are not going to call you for an emergency. That's not what the pager is for. As part of a team in a large hospital, there has to be a way of contacting you. Without a pager, you have to sit in one place or risk missing out on whatever is going on (unscheduled teaching sessions, trips to radiology, new admits, etc). I don't know how you could get by without one.
     
  9. turtleboard

    turtleboard SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    Jun 3, 1999
    New York, New York
    The unscheduled teaching sessions I can understand, but the trips to radiology? What's so great about those? Hunting down the films? Then the subsequent hunt for the radiologist? No thanks. I'd rather be reading. :)
     
  10. Mr. happy clown guy

    Mr. happy clown guy Senior Member 7+ Year Member

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    Jul 30, 2001
    Are you following me?
    I wore a pager my entire 3rd year but not at all my 4th year.
     
  11. Whisker Barrel Cortex

    Whisker Barrel Cortex 1K Member 10+ Year Member

    1,785
    19
    Aug 10, 2001
    Midwest
    Turtleboard,

    Trips to radiology can be very educational (although I admit I'm biased since I plan on entering the field). It seems your residents weren't as good about teaching you about findings on radiologic studies as mine were.

    Clinicians from almost every field must have a basic understanding of radiologic findings. If you're on call in your intern year and you get a chest x-ray or abdominal series or abdominal CT for an urgent situation, you don't have the luxury of waiting for a radiology report. If the rads resident on call is busy doing an ultrasound for 45 minutes (most hospitals don't have a tech on call!), you're gonna have a hell of a time getting him to take a look. You need to be able to tell if a patient has CHF with pulmonary edema, a bowel obstruction, bowel perforation, ruptured spleen, etc. You should be able to see these basic findings on your own and cannot do so without going down to the "cave" and looking at some films during medical school. Also, the clinical information you give the radiologist can often help him/her decide what the most likely finding is on a study since the requisitions sent down give very brief and often inaccurate histories.

    Try going down there after the film have already been read and dicatated. If there are interesting findings, you should see them so that you can recognize them in the future. Plus, after they are dictated, its usually easy to find the films because they have been filed away.

    Hope you don't mind these tips from a future radiologist on how to use your radiology department for your education. You can read at home, you can't see films at home!
     

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