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What approach do you take when scheduling 4th year?

Discussion in 'Clinical Rotations' started by nope80, Jan 2, 2009.

  1. nope80

    nope80 Resident
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    We have to do a medicine and surgery AI as well as neuro and 4 electives. How does one go about scheduling their 4th year if they don't know exactly what they want to do? If they think they are interested in a particular field, say radiology, do you want to focus your electives in that field or take the approach where you just want to broaden your education with other electives (such as ICU, cardiology, etc)? People say 4th year is supposed to be easier than 3rd but it doesn't seem to be that way from what I know about it! We can get as much as 2 months of vacation if scheduled properly and there are a bunch of "individual studies" rotations.

    I am torn between the idea of killing myself with hard but interesting rotations or just trying to take the easy way out and figure out what is necessary for a good residency background (since this will prob be the last time for a real vacation).

    Any thoughts?
     
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  3. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
    Administrator Physician SDN Advisor 10+ Year Member

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    According to your other posts, you are still an MS2.

    I would SERIOUSLY advise you not to put the cart before the horse, and focus any free mental energy you have on putting together a realistic and coherent Step 1 study schedule.

    You have many obstacles to get through before you can even start to think about 4th year scheduling. Third year is a complete change from MS2, and may totally determine how you approach the rest of your career.

    How you set up your 4th year really depends very heavily on what field you are trying to apply to. If you are applying for something that is early match, your schedule will be very, very different from someone who is applying for regular match. Each field will also have different recommendations as well. Ortho, for instance, is notorious for (more or less) requiring its students to focus their elective time on orthopedic surgery rotations.

    Furthermore, if you enter 4th year undecided between two specialties, you will need to use your first few months of 4th year to help you decide.
     
  4. nope80

    nope80 Resident
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    I know I think you are right. I just have so much anxiety about the future. I don't know what to do with myself. I can't stop thinking about how scary 3rd years is going to be and how I'm dreading it, and residency applications, and 4th year, etc etc. I just feel like there are so many unknowns about this process that just scare me.
     
  5. BigRedBeta

    BigRedBeta Why am I in a handbasket?
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    Totally agree with Smq...

    You'll have PLENTY of time to sift over 4th year scheduling when the time comes...including time to meet with an advisor, talk with the other students in your class who are interested in the same field, talk to friends in the classes ahead of yours (the M4's when you're an M3 are an invaluable resource) and post threads on SDN.

    And don't dread third year...if what drew you to medicine was the chance to interact with patients or problem solve or wear your white coat around everyday or simply just not sit in lecture for multiple hours each and every day, then it's a wonderful, refreshing change from the first two years. The people who struggle with/hate 3rd year are the ones who have difficulty adjusting to the lack of control over their schedule, people who hate uncertainty/subjectivity (evals and patients description of their symptoms will give you plenty of both) or whose egos get in the way and can't accept that they're at the bottom of the totem pole where unfortunately things roll downhill (and can't distinguish that it's really nothing they did).
     
  6. smq123

    smq123 John William Waterhouse
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    There are always going to be unknowns in medicine. That's the nature of the career of a physician.

    You'll survive Step 1, 3rd year, 4th year, residency applications, and the Match the same way we all do - one step at a time.

    You can't really plan your future that far ahead, just because a lot may change during MS3. So, like I said, just take it one step at a time, and you'll do fine. :) :luck:
     
  7. EM2BE

    EM2BE Elf
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    I'm in the middle of my 3rd year and just now starting to look at how I want to do 4th year. Like they said, plenty of time. Anxiety about the unknown will only result in more anxiety.
     
  8. doctah27

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    For me as a 4th yr, most of my rotations were pretty laid back w/ the exception of 1 or 2. I was an acting intern in 2 of my rotations but the rest, I was given a few patients to follow and that's about it. Attended lectures, enjoyed the free catered food. not too bad.

    I suggest choosing a combination of challenging rotations and laid back rotations...that way you're 4th yr will be part vacation sometimes and hard work the others.

    4th yr is so much easier! more vacation time I think. good luck!
     

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