Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What Am I Going to Be When I Grow Up?

We had our midterm evaluations today with our problem-based learning (PBL) tutors today.

For those of you who are new to the blog--my medical school uses PBL based learning which means that every Tuesday me and my group of 8 other students get a new case (patient) presentation, we hash out our hypotheses/differentials, and acquire physical/lab/diagnostic information--for three hours. We generate 'learning objectives' (LO's) based on our unknowns in the cases--i.e one of our cases was multiple myeloma so naturally our LO's were mainly based around immunology, cancer, pharmacology, etc. Then we scurry away and learn as much as we can from Tuesday-Friday. On Friday morning we meet again for 2 hours and find out more info about the case and present our findings to each other.

Over the weekend we take whatever new info has been gleaned and learn learn learn, then the following Tuesday we wrap up the case and start the next one.

This is all interspersed with anatomy, physiology, histology, sociology, law & ethics, statistics, and psychology lectures as well as presentations from specialists who use the case of the week to be the theme of their talk.

So we spend 5 hours a week with our PBL tutor and we all get to know each other very well (for better or for worse). The PBL tutors are doctors from various backgrounds and they are with a group for 1/2 a semester before the school switches them up. They are not supposed to teach us anything, just help to keep us on track if our discussions are way off base or someone says something completely bollocks.

That was a longer explanation than I thought it'd be!

Anyway to make my short story long...

My wonderful lovely hilarious PBL tutor's last day with the group is Friday and I am really sad because I *love* her and have a secret professional girl-crush on her because of how ahhhh-maaaa-zing she is. Today we had our evaluations (which aren't really evaluations because we don't get any marks from PBL but more of a check-in to see how we are doing) and I couldn't help myself but ask her what type of medicine she saw in my future. She had said that she is usually very good at predicting early on what students will go into.

She said that she could tell I was very practical and loved procedural-based medicine so her prediction was anesthetist or surgeon.

Hmmmpf! Interrrrresting.

Maybe OMDG's prediction is right?! (She attains that I will become a trauma surgeon but I just can't wrap my head around that one).  :)

I've just always been an emergency girl (though I do love sports med) and could really only see myself doing emergency's only been in the last few months that anesthetics came into my realm of consideration. There is just sooooooo much out there and we get exposed to so little in our clinical rotations. We don't even get a clinical rotation in anesthetics, or emergency med! We have 25% in family med, and the rest is peds, surgery, psyche, obs/gyn, medicine.

I know, I know...electives are where it is at.


Everyone keeps harping on me that I need to pic *now* because I need to start arranging contacts in Canada *now* and doing electives in my residency of choice *now* because as a lowly IMG we need all the help we can get to get a residency we want back in Canada.

How the deuce to people who have never done any clinical work do this? I feel bad for the 95% of my medical student IMG colleagues that are in the same boat and have only done a few weeks here and there in clinical-type settings.

I really think the Irish system is much better in this regard. After graduating you do 1 year internship where you float everywhere and then you can apply into different streams after that. Seems much more humane.

In the meantime...

Hmmm...anesthetics? Surgery? Really?


Maha said...

I say come back to Canada and be an ER doc!

Albinoblackbear said...

Well! That has always been the plan. Sooo...time will tell I guess!


OMDG said...

I told you so!

Actually what your *could* do is EM followed by a fellowship in critical care or trauma. Not a common pathway, but definitely done.

Alas, no OR time. But you still get to do a bunch of cool stuff AND avoid the dreaded surgery residency.

Albinoblackbear said...

Ohhhhhh, that sounds like a fun idea. I'd have to do EM in the US then...since it's 3 years instead of 5. I'm ok with that though...

Tobie really wants to live in the States for a while. :)

He's pushing for NY, Philly, Nashville or Austin. I told him Austin was out of the question.

Keet said...

I'm so coming to visit.
And I like this EM with fellowship in critical care/trauma.
That way when you retire to rural emergency medicine you can save all the crazy folk who do dumb stuff out on the farm.

Albinoblackbear said...

I know! That OMDG is smarter than your average bear! ;)

And yes, you know I just want to end up as Doctor Quinn in BFN, BC at the end of it all anyway! I (heart) farming communities. They are my peeps after all...sheep bites and combine accidents, bring it.

Visit soon!

EMT GFP said...

Having lived in both the South and the North of the US, definitely not Austin (though for Texas it is very cultural and well rounded) but if you want both emergency/trauma and rural accidents walking into your ER for training, Nashville might not be a bad option. Good luck no matter what!

Albinoblackbear said...

Thanks! :)

I think Nashville would be a great place to go--mostly for the music scene of course....though I am a heat-o-phobe! And I hear Vanderbilt has a good residency programs...ah life. It's nothing if not unpredictable!

Anonymous said...

I think you will be great at whatever you decide to do ABB - not really helpful with you decision *coughRuralMedcough* but I had to throw it out there :).

OMDG said...

Glad I was able to be of help!

We would love to have you in the states. There are plenty of cold places here as well.


GENOVEZ said...

I just hope that you choose the one that means the most to you... and I wish you the best!!!:D

Albinoblackbear said...

Ninja--hahah nice one. Thanks!

OMDG--Heh, true! I *love* Alaska. And California, and Oregon, Montana...I've actually never been to the East side, but from what Tobie tells me, I'll love it.

Genov--Thank you. I hope so too!

Anonymous said...

You could also do a 5 year ER residency and then a sports medicine fellowship afterwards (I know Ottawa does this, and I think one or two other schools). Best of both worlds.

Albinoblackbear said...

I am too old for a 5 year emerg...if I was going to do that then I'd do the 2+1 emerg med then fellowship...I worked in Whistler with a doc who did that through UBC.

That is one of my possible permutations though, and good to know that Ottawa does it since it is on my hit list of Canadian cities I'd love to live in (Tobie's family is in Gatineau).

I am not holding my breath for Canada to open it's arms wide to me when I come back though, hence the US contingency plan! =)