Two weeks ago we got our third year schedules. I never wrote about it. I was pretty damn nervous about this, because we could have been sent anywhere within a 50 mile radius of University Medical School. I have friends who are all the way at one end of that huge circle and then have to switch to the other end for their next rotation (4-8 weeks later). Friends? Significant Others? Dogs? Who knows what we would have to do …
To recap, what I had wanted was:
July – August: Pediatrics @ University Hospital
September – October: OB/GYN @ Anywhere (University Hospital, County General, Affiliated Hospital or County Medical Center)
November – December: Surgery @ University Hospital
January – February: Medicine @ University Hospital
March – April: Ambulatory and Family Medicine @ Wherever they send me
May – June: Psychiatry @ County Medical Center and Electives
What I got was pretty damn close, and kept all of my preferences intact. I guess I did a good job of communicating them. Or I got lucky. Or both. My preferences, in order of importance, were:
1. Medicine last, because 30% of students who take medicine in the last block get an “honors” whereas the average for the first block is 7% and for the other blocks is around 15%. I want to honor medicine.
2. Peds before medicine. Peds at our University Hospital is a tough clerkship, but its good practice for learning how hospital floors work and how to not fuck stuff up (which is a primary goal of any medical student)
3. OB before surgery. OB is supposedly good practice for surgery (heavy operative specialty) and, even though it can be exhausting,
4. Surgery before medicine. I was actually pretty torn about this one, my advisor recommended it, but I know that I will do better on surgery if I have it after medicine. I’m not sure if the converse is true. In the end, priority #1 (medicine last) kind of made this a moot point.
5. I tried to have most of my rotations at University Hospital, except surgery, which I preferred to have at Government Hospital. Government is much smaller and the chief of the service gets to know the medical students much better. There is also supposedly more “down time” to study for the shelf than at University Hospital. The downside is that I live 20 miles from Government Hospital, and <1 mile from University Hospital. Getting up at 4 AM is not something I look forward to, but, it’s only a few months …
6. I kind of wanted my electives after medicine (obviously impossible to reconcile with priority #1) because many of the electives at University Medical School that I want to try out require at least a medicine clerkship as a prerequisite. It doesn’t really matter, I can always get rid of some of the required electives we have like EM, Radiology and Neuro during this slot and save myself some time for fourth year.
MY THIRD YEAR SCHEDULE
July-August: Ambulatory and Family Medicine @ Community Site TBD
September – October: OB-GYN @ University Hospital
November-December: Surgery @ Government Hospital
January – February: Pediatrics @ University Hospital
March: Psychiatry @ Government Hospital
May – June: Medicine @ University Hospital
In the end, I feel extremely relieved and fortunate. I got a schedule that is (almost) perfectly consistent with my priorities and requires only 12 weeks of early AM driving (out of a possible 50). Win!