Unlike other specialties, radiology is often an elective rotation that focuses on diagnostics and image interpretation. Such tasks are mainly done by the specialty’s residents with little care for medical students to be involved with.
As I step carefully into the sterile field / past the rows of scalpels, forceps and clamps, / I sense a gentle fluttering in my chest.
One crisp Sunday morning in October, I arrive at the community free clinic to find four student volunteers — two of whom are in their third month of medical school like I am — and one attending physician. As usual, we are overbooked.
It was my third day on my home dermatology elective, and I boldly volunteered to see a patient by myself. As a third-year medical student strongly considering dermatology for my future career, I had studied for weeks for this rotation, hoping to make an impression as a confident, knowledgeable and reliable doctor-in-training. Usually, medical students shadow for two weeks before seeing patients on their own, but I was eager to be more independent. This was my chance to demonstrate everything I was working toward.
Longitudinal community service presents health trainees with clear benefits including development of communication and interpersonal skills, understanding how to teach and insight into community level issues and personal well being.
As she closed the door behind her, the palliative care geriatrician whom I (Meghan) was shadowing turned and said, “Remember, there are no difficult patients – just difficult situations.” We walked to our next patient, Mrs. C, who was suffering from congestive heart failure. All cures had been exhausted and she was tired of being at the hospital but was scared to enter hospice care. The doctor clasped hands with Mrs. C and explained that starting hospice did not mean giving up – it meant living life on her own terms in the time that was left. After these discussions, Mrs. C appeared more at ease and decided to pursue hospice care at her home.
Medical student, why don’t you intubate? / The OR is safe, it’ll go great.
While I maneuvered through my first block of medical school, I felt emboldened by how well my undergraduate studies and extracurriculars prepared me for the transition. With that being said, Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine (OMM) snuck in on its Trojan horse and presented me with a very unexpected challenge.
During my OB/GYN rotation, one of my primary roles as a medical student was to observe and assist during labor and delivery. On one particularly memorable Friday afternoon, after we welcomed a healthy baby boy into our world, I delivered the placenta wholly intact on my own. However, while I felt satisfied with a job well done, something was dripping down my leg…
“I’m sorry that you have to see me this way,” said Ms. A as we exited the examining room. Twenty minutes earlier, Ms. A had been laughing and cracking jokes while my attending physician and I obtained her medical history and life updates.
Most students recognize Dr. Jason Ryan as the creator of the Boards & Beyond (B&B) video series. His modules have been lauded for being concise enough to target board prep, yet comprehensive enough to strengthen a student’s understanding of (often) some very challenging content areas. While he may be well known for his video lectures, we decided to go “beyond” in this Q&A.
I took a quick trip to Target a month ago and browsed for new jeans. I approached the clothing section and was suddenly struck by the overwhelming challenge I had undertaken. From rack to rack, I had to choose from a multitude of different brands (Levis, Wrangler, True Religion and more), different styles (skinny, bootcut, tapered and more) and different colors (blue, black, tan and more). I had to figure out my current exact size and, even then, there are many different ways to size jeans (small-medium-large, waist-by-length and others).