A Fly on the Ward

The clerkship experience can be the definition of tumultuous. As we’re suddenly tossed into the wards, it’s easy to become caught up in the shuffle as we move through our service rotation. These posts try to take a step back and become “a fly on the wall” observing and reflecting on the overall movement through clerkships.

Jimmy Yan Jimmy Yan (9 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus and in-Training Staff Member

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario


Hey, I'm Jimmy, I'm a member of the Class of 2015 at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry located in the University of Western Ontario. I'm originally from Vancouver, and did my undergrad at UBC in physiology and commerce. I think these bios are a bit too short to really paint an accurate picture so find me on Twitter (@Jimmy_Yan) and we can connect that way!

A Fly on the Ward

The clerkship experience can be the definition of tumultuous. As we're suddenly tossed into the wards, it's easy to become caught up in the shuffle as we move through our service rotation. These posts try to take a step back and become "a fly on the wall" observing and reflecting on the overall movement through clerkships.




Dear 23-Year-Old Me

Hey Jimmy,

It’s me. You. Us, I guess. Don’t ask me to explain how time-traveling communication works. I assume it’s like the movie Interstellar (which you don’t know about because it hasn’t been released yet) or The Lake House. Anyhow, in roughly four years from now I, you, us, we will graduate from medical school and I thought it would be a good idea at this point, to write back to you just as you’re starting at Schulich Med in the fall of 2011. What I bring to you is a one-time offering of advice and insight. And no, I won’t give you stock tips: it doesn’t work that way.

View From the Other Side

“He always does this, it’s unbelievable!” My preceptor’s voice was unmistakable. We had just finished our first case and I had momentarily left to get some coffee. “This is getting unacceptable, someone needs to bring this up to the board!” I had never seen him so worked up after having worked with him over the course of the week.

Work In the Time to Work Out

We all know it’s important to stay fit and healthy during medical school, especially as ward duties, call nights, electives and residency applications add more stress into our lives. These responsibilities whittle away at our energy and spare time, making it harder to maintain a regular workout regime in a busy schedule. Despite our best efforts, the priority to work out can slip as we struggle to find time. I mean, let’s face it: after …

For You Bike Commuters: Six Things I Learned From Two Wheels

Let me start off by saying that I don’t think of myself as a hardcore cyclist: I don’t own multiple bikes, I am not on Strava, and I don’t own a single cycling kit or jersey. In fact, outside of my commute to the hospitals, errand runs and trips to friends’ places, I don’t really ride my bike. I started cycling to work during my clerkship year in medical school, partly as a way to …

Alone in the Crowd

It’s easy to see how the hospital can be an intimidating place for a patient. Being alone, in an unknown environment, covered only a flimsy cloth gown, and surrounded by strangers can make anyone anxious. Now, imagine not knowing what these strangers are saying to you, about you. Imagine these strangers  cannot understand a single word you say. I had just finished up a previous case in the OR with the orthopedics team when the …

Chirurgia: The Mythical Practice

Maybe it’s the early mornings, maybe it’s the sleep deprivation, or perhaps it’s an early sign of caffeine intoxication, but a certain mythical feeling hits me when I walk into the OR. Not that I’m much of a spiritual person, but there’s just a whole hushed reverence that takes place. It’s a special “hallowed” space. No, I’m not trying to imply that the surgeons that I’ve worked with have such egos they demand to be …

Do You Remember?

There exist, in truth, three simple words that strike dread into the hearts of every physician: Do. You. Remember. This phrase was introduced to me in the middle of first year. I was spending time in my medical student lounge when a link popped up on my newsfeed to a TED talk by Dr. Brian Goldman, an emergency physician from Toronto who hosts the radio show White Coat Black Art and who has also authored the book “The Night Shift.” In …

Exam Room 3

Of all the sounds I expected to hear as I pushed open the thick door of Examination Room 3, the anguished sobs stopped me in my tracks. Wide-eyed and mouth agape, I stared. Agonizingly long seconds passed. “Hello, my name is Jimmy…” My mouth instinctively prattled the standard script I had practiced for the last two years. The woman looked up. Behind a mess of straw-colored hair, her red swollen eyes met mine. Dark streaks …

And So It Begins: The Clerkship Years

Not too long ago, I was still in the world of “pre-clerkship”, the realm of lectures, teaching sessions, attendance and classrooms. That time seems so long ago now after entering the wards as a third-year student on clerkships. That world of preclerkship seems so much simpler, and safer, than being in the hospital right now, with its fluorescent lights, long hallways, and patient rooms. Classrooms were a world to which I had become accustomed and …

Jimmy Yan Jimmy Yan (9 Posts)

Columnist Emeritus and in-Training Staff Member

Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry at The University of Western Ontario


Hey, I'm Jimmy, I'm a member of the Class of 2015 at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry located in the University of Western Ontario. I'm originally from Vancouver, and did my undergrad at UBC in physiology and commerce. I think these bios are a bit too short to really paint an accurate picture so find me on Twitter (@Jimmy_Yan) and we can connect that way!

A Fly on the Ward

The clerkship experience can be the definition of tumultuous. As we're suddenly tossed into the wards, it's easy to become caught up in the shuffle as we move through our service rotation. These posts try to take a step back and become "a fly on the wall" observing and reflecting on the overall movement through clerkships.