pntgrd

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I'm not a 3rd year yet. I know "scut" means some kind of menial task, but what are some examples I might experience on my surgery rotation?
 

MojoRisin

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From my institution it means the floor work that MUST be done to run a tight ship. During my third year rotation there was a lot of social work and discharge orders that took up my day.

Scut work should not be synonymous with menial work. Many times I have had the opportunity to talk to families with very minimal health care education, and just explaining what is going on with their loved one in lay terms is that scut work. Also tertiary surveys of trauma patients allow residents and attendings to truly see a students skillset.

Many times you are going to have to deal with the difficult patient on the floor or that new ER consult. All of this is going to come in very handy during your intern year regardless of your future occupation.

As I did my subIs I tried to never dole out 'scut' to the 3rd years, but there is a lot of valuable education that goes with these very important duties.
 

kemper6036

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wow....MS4's scutting out the third years?

some classic scut work would be looking up labs, getting official reads from the radiologist, making pt lists
 

SocialistMD

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Actually, "classic" medical student scut would be having to go to the cafeteria on a coffee run for your intern/resident while you stop by radiology and pick up the films for rounds. Since most hospitals have electronic radiographs now, it is especially excessive to send the student on a coffee run without some "medical need...";)

What is considered scut now is being asked to do the menial, day-to-day things that help a service run but that are in no way glamorous or fun and (most importantly for the definition) for which there is no educational value. What is scut to a medical student is different than what is scut to an intern/resident, as nearly everything that a medical student does has some learning opportunity (at least the first few times you do it). However, most "administrative" activities reach a point of maximum educational utility somewhere in the first two weeks of internship and become scut shortly thereafter.

MojoRisin said:
Scut work should not be synonymous with menial work. Many times I have had the opportunity to talk to families with very minimal health care education, and just explaining what is going on with their loved one in lay terms is that scut work. Also tertiary surveys of trauma patients allow residents and attendings to truly see a students skillset.
Actually, I disagree, as it is a word I used to define it without even having read your post. I take more issue with what you consider menial. Talking with a patient's family (and other direct patient care activities) is kind of your job as a physician and keeping the patient and his/her family informed is a priority. It should never be considered menial and one should never feel like patient communication is scut. Scut isn't simply doing something you don't want to do; it is typically doing some bureaucratic paperwork that is a necessary evil but never involves direct patient care.

Don't forget why you are here...
 
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JackADeli

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...some classic scut work would be looking up labs, getting official reads from the radiologist, making pt lists
Actually, "classic" medical student scut would be having to go to the cafeteria ...especially excessive to send the student on a coffee run without some "medical need..."

What is considered scut ...for which there is no educational value...
First, got to agree with the highlighted/underlined pre-requisite component of the definition... i.e. lacks educational value.

This brings me to the next point. Getting lab results, final imaging reads, making patient list is NOT scut. Unless, you are the medical student that lacks maturity and insight to appreciate the learning opportunity staring you in the face....

lab result you obtained.... what does it signify? why was it ordered? why is it abnormal? is there a pattern to the abnormality... i.e. ABG acid/base disorders, etc....

Film reads.... are you not asking the rads to show you what they see? If you are getting it off a computer, are you not trying to read the film yourself and compare it to the report findings?

Patient lists.... you should know all the patients. In fact, the importance of a quality list can not be emphasized enough. In my institution, the importance was so discounted by students, we didn't let students do it anymore. because, they just could not be trusted. We depend on the data on those lists and often plan patient care based on that data.

All these things and more are not scut... it is PHYSICIAN work, you will need to do in practice and sadly, it is PHYSICIAN work that seems well above some med-students capacity. If you are such a med-student, think of another job or bone up and start learning. You need to be learning all these things to provide quality care. Stop being a whining secretary and start being a trainable member of the team.
...Don't forget why you are here...
 
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SLUser11

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Echoing JAD and Socialist, I think the best thing to remember, which was passed to me by a SLU neurologist, is that it's not scut until it's old hat.

If you've never done something before, e.g. place foleys, IVs, transfer patients, etc....then you're not above it.

Getting coffee is slam-dunk scut, but I think of less obvious examples as low-yield activities that interfere with educational activities.....something may initially be educational, but then as it gets in the way of new experiences, it becomes scut. So if someone is missing the OR so they can gather vitals or do paperwork, then that's probably scut.

In my own institution, there was a former resident who would have students do trauma tertiary surveys as their first priority, and would put this ahead of seeing new traumas and going to the OR. They spent hours filling out these worksheets to save the resident time, but they missed out on the sexy stuff. Obviously, once this became known, the situation was fixed.
 

thedrjojo

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First, got to agree with the highlighted/underlined pre-requisite component of the definition... i.e. lacks educational value.

This brings me to the next point. Getting lab results, final imaging reads, making patient list is NOT scut. Unless, you are the medical student that lacks maturity and insight to appreciate the learning opportunity staring you in the face....

lab result you obtained.... what does it signify? why was it ordered? why is it abnormal? is there a pattern to the abnormality... i.e. ABG acid/base disorders, etc....

Film reads.... are you not asking the rads to show you what they see? If you are getting it off a computer, are you not trying to read the film yourself and compare it to the report findings?

Patient lists.... you should know all the patients. In fact, the importance of a quality list can not be emphasized enough. In my institution, the importance was so discounted by students, we didn't let students do it anymore. because, they just could not be trusted. We depend on the data on those lists and often plan patient care based on that data.

All these things and more are not scut... it is PHYSICIAN work, you will need to do in practice and sadly, it is PHYSICIAN work that seems well above some med-students capacity. If you are such a med-student, think of another job or bone up and start learning. You need to be learning all these things to provide quality care. Stop being a whining secretary and start being a trainable member of the team.
Cant agree more with this email.... SCUT has essentially been turned into a word med students use whenever a resident wants them to do something that they don't want to do or doesn't THINK it does them any use to do it. My hospital, the students always complain that it is full of scut, but I really can only remember like 2 times I really was scut'd... and even then, the resident offered that I could get whatever I wanted in the cafeteria with their meal card but they just weren't allowed to leave the floor at that time and the cafeteria was about to close, so atleast the residents realized it was scut and wanted to make up for it. You have to have a tolerance for doing some things that are "mindless" and you gotta find the learning experience (for example, at my school, you have to get radiology to anotate CT/MRI requests, and to do that you have to essentially present the patient and explain what test you are wanting and why, know what labs rads wants (BUN/CR), and what else has been done. Most of my classmates call it scut when they have to slip a CT request, but I have gotten damn good at presenting patients and knowing why I am getting that CT...)
 

kemper6036

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Actually, "classic" medical student scut would be having to go to the cafeteria on a coffee run for your intern/resident while you stop by radiology and pick up the films for rounds. Since most hospitals have electronic radiographs now, it is especially excessive to send the student on a coffee run without some "medical need...";)
heheeh :thumbup:
 

StarboardMD

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Agree with past several posts. At my school, scutting students was reportable and could get residents and attendings written up for disciplinary measures, so "scut" obviously would not include gathering results and other less exciting activities that are critical to patient care.
 

Pir8DeacDoc

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Ultimately it's about learning to function as the lowest member of a team. If the "team" needs the lowest man to grab coffee and take down some vitals, then go for it. It shouldn't be excessive but as a medical student I embraced this type of work. In surgery we work as a team more than other fields and knowing a student is a team player makes a big difference in how the team perceives them.

As opposed to the student at my current medical center when I was an intern who told me as we divided the cases for the day that he didn't want to see another lap chole because he had seen one the day before and thus deemed seeing another "non-educational" and not a "good use of my time". Ok dude, well have fun sitting in the lounge with my foot in your *****. Decided that day the Ivy League must be different than my no-name state medical school :)
 

scalpel179

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SCUT= Some Clinically Useful Tasks

I cant remember where I read that, but seems to define things well.