Chronicles of a Med Student: Beginning Clinical Rotations

I walked into my first rotation with a stethoscope and granola bar in my pocket and a LOT of nerves. I had no idea what to expect. I knew I had to impress my preceptor (which I imagined was easier said than done) and ace my shelf exam because this was the specialty I wanted to pursue. Talk about a lot of pressure. A fellow medical student and I walked into the hospital on the first day and while we were very obviously lost in the hallways, a tall man walks up to us and asks, “Are you looking for Dr. ___ ?” We slowly nodded our heads, still confused. He sticks out his hand and comments “well, you’ve found him.” So began our first day.

Read more

5 Things in Residency That I Didn’t Expect to be Hard (But Were)


I knew residency was going to be hard. I had anticipated the long hours, weeks in a row without a two-day weekend (which, in an attempt to see the glass as half full, I have come to call vacations), and the mountain of new knowledge I would need to master. None of this came as a surprise and I was braced for them from the day I showed up for orientation. However, I’ve found that residency comes with a whole set of challenges I did not expect. If anyone had told me about them in med school, I guess I wasn’t really listening (or, more likely, was too preoccupied trying to figure out my patient’s acid/base situation by the time we rounded to take much notice). For each of us, these unexpected challenges in residency are likely to be a little different, stemming from our own strengths, weaknesses and pet peeves. Here are some of the difficulties I wasn’t expecting:

Read more

Ten things I learned in medical school (Other than, you know, the medical stuff)

I learned a great deal during the preclinical years of medical school, much of which served me well during my clinical training (although I never found a practical use for memorizing the Krebs cycle beyond boards exams). Clinical training was a whole new world, filled with hidden lessons that I didn’t find in any of my textbooks.
10. Late is a four-letter word. Be on time; rounds do not wait for the medical student. A lot of being a third year med student is simply being there. When I was on my surgery clerkship, New York was hit by hurricane Sandy. The next day, we were all there for morning rounds. On time.

Read more