Thursday, April 15, 2010

Quotes from the Classroom

You may have noticed that it's been a while since my last "Quotes from the Classroom" post.

You also may have noticed that I have not really been 'feeling the love' in medical school these days so I've resorted to truancy. It's been helpful in that I have gotten a lot of work done on the essays (which have no application whatsoever to medical practice) done. But being stuck in the hovel all day and night is making me more and more curmudgeonly. I figured it was time to start going to class again.

Yesterday I ventured out into the light and attended three greatly interesting lectures; one was a GP/derm/sports med overachiever who lectured to us about the different types of arthritis and how they will present to you in clinic.

"The patient will come in and tell you they can't throw their leg over the seat of a bike...or whatever it is they like to throw their leg over."


This was followed by an orthopod and then an anesthetist who is a pain specialist (have I mentioned yet this month that I want to attach myself to the leg of every anesthetist I see, begging them to take me to the hospital with them??)

By far the most entertaining part of the afternoon was the orthopedic surgeon who lectured to us about joint replacement surgery. There is just something a little jarring about the statement "so we saw the head of the femur off, it goes in the bin, and then we set about getting the prosthesis into the femur".

This of course was followed by, "the first rule of orthopedic prosthesis placement is 'when it stops movin', stop bangin'".  Remind me never to get my hip replaced!

And the pearl of wisdom bestowed upon us when one of the students asked about osteolysis (complete bone destruction around the prosthetic causing instability and pain for the patient), "there is no problem that metal can't solve".

It is safe to say that orthopedic surgeon has long been scratched off my list of "maybe that is what I will be when I grow up".


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OMDG said...

Aw, don't write it off just because it's a bunch of frat boys with hammers! Some of the stuff they do is really cool.

Not that I didn't do the same thing, I'm just saying the field needs more ladies, and you'd probably like some aspects of it more than you think you would, given your proclivities towards trauma and ED. (Though aren't the frat boy types kind of annoying?)

I feel you on the "hating med school" thing. It's like they're driving you with a big bullwhip for the first 3 years. It sucks. But, summer's *just* around the corner. The other thing I'd suggest is planning on taking a year off after you do your core clerkships (between 3rd and 4th year). I know I was really burnt out after 3 years of being driven into the ground, and I needed some time to decompress and get my head screwed on right again. If you're like me, you might end up feeling the same way, and it might help a lot.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

During my 2nd year my class had a note service. I found I actually did better just picking up the notes and staying at home studying them, then going to lecture.

Albinoblackbear said...

OMDG--Oh I would *love* to take a year off between 3rd and 4th year. That would be the year that I'd get my yoga teaching cert, learn Spanish, master the mandolin and the art of bread making, ski, bike, climb... mother co-signed my line of credit and if I took a year off, it'd be another year that her house was being used as collateral for the loan. This displeases her greatly and she's made it very clear that I am not allowed to do anything that takes longer than 3 years of residency so I can start paying back my loans.

But if I win the lotto I'll definitely take that into consideration...wait...if I win the lotto I'm quitting medical school altogether! hahah

Grump--Yeah, I think I learn on my own a bit better as well. Which is good considering I am in a PBL program. We don't have the note service but all the power points are posted online so...I am just afraid that if I stop going to class I'll turn into a complete misanthrope! ;)

OMDG said...

Tell your mom that if you do a 3 yr residency you will be able to make 1/3 the income of a doctor who does a 4-6 residency + fellowship. That should mean something to her.

Albinoblackbear said...

OMDG--Can I set up a conference call between the three of us so someone else can tell her that?? hahahah

It's true...remember though, medical students have a masochistic-delayed-gratification-gene in them that most of the general population is missing. My mother included (God bless her and her co-signing abilities!)


Anonymous said...

I got to scrub in on a total knee the other day and it was so interesting! Ortho surgeries are pretty rough with all the hammering and sawing but it was so great to see that terribly arthritic joint go from almost zero to total mobility with a shiny new prosthesis. Instant gratification - with tons of PT of course - very cool!

As for skipping class, a very wise person told me in undergrad that "once and a while you just gotta take a mental health day." Honestly, looking back, I really wish I would have skipped class more often this year and just stayed home to read the text and go over notes on my own. I was always so afraid I'd miss something though (most of the time I did not).

I think getting anything out of attending class depends quite a bit on the subject material and the quality of the lecturer. I guess you just have to find what works best for you. Hang in there ABB its almost summer:)!

Albinoblackbear said...

Ninja--I am actually scared for my ortho rotation. I fear I will need a padded chair close behind me in the OR. :)

It's true, summer is only two MONTHS away! hahaha I am all about mental health days. I just find it really hard to actually take a day off. It generally starts a guilt/depression/anxiety spiral if I do. Getting better though. Shopping at the Farmers Market and cooking all day keeps me away from the call of the computer.

Liana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Liana said...

*wistful sigh* I loved ortho.

On salaries, I don't think the disparity between a 2 year and 4-5 year residency is quite so great in Canada. And especially if you do rural or remote family medicine, you'll do quite well... Send me a message if you're curious as to how much a family doc in Alberta actually makes.

The bottom line is that you need to do something that you love, something that gets you up in the mornings, something that keeps you going even when it's 4:30 AM and you've been on call three times in the past 5 days. Whether that's emergency medicine or anesthesia or whatever is up to you :)

If you end up doing residency in Canada, check out NBC/MD management for your line of credit. I did not need a cosigner or collateral for my LOC, and they were willing to lend me $25,000/year. Plus in residency at least you will be making some money... $40,000 or so.