The One Where I Whine A Lot

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It’s another Medical Monday! For those of you who know me, welcome back! To those of you visiting for the first time, I’m K, a third year medical student in the US, and I’m pretty excited to have you here.

Except that the following incredibly whiny, stressed out post doesn’t make for a very good first date. Why don’t you check out my “You Know You’re a Medical Student…” series (20 Ways and 20 More Ways) first, and then visit my crazy once you’ve already learned to love me?


This is me. Right now.

I think my stress level is reaching sub-Step 1 levels. (Yes, that is a level just below that induced by spending hours upon hours studying for a beastly 8 hour multiple choice exam that represents the first real grade received in medical school.)

Why, you ask?

It’s partially that radiology is just not my thing. Don’t get me wrong… being home, snuggled in my bed at 3:30 PM is totally my thing, and I’m sure I’d like radiology loads more if I was able to be a productive member of a team. However, my current activities include sitting in a dark room watching a resident dictate radiology reports, which is the equivalent of watching someone surf the Internet. And the lectures tend to be painfully boring and/or over my head (medical physics, anyone?).

Me, in most of my radiology lectures.

But the real reason for my stress is my fourth year schedule, which came out this past Friday. We have four mandatory blocks: a sub-internship, Geriatrics, Ambulatory, and surgical subspecialty.

The good news is I got the sub-internship I wanted in inpatient pediatrics (although my indecision re: residency picks makes this potentially NOT a good choice), and my geriatrics block is with at least two of my close friends. Additionally, my family med preceptor agreed to host me for my ambulatory block this summer, which I’m beyond excited for, provided the school allows me to switch the dates.

The bad news is that I got surgical subspecialty in July, which is terrible for several reasons:

1. This was me on surgery (so why would I ruin my summer?):

Evidence: of this misery, my tendency to bow out of surgeries early and excitement for the end of the block.

2. July is primetime to get letters of recommendation. I may not know what I want to do, but I know it’s not surgery… so why would I lose precious networking time on a block during which it won’t benefit me to network?

3. Perhaps the worst factor: I can’t change the timing of this block until the third year schedule comes out, which means it’s difficult to start scheduling my electives since I don’t know definitively when this mandatory block will be. Meanwhile, all of my classmates can start snatching up the best electives…

Bah. I want to just finalize my schedule and be done, but unfortunately this surgical subspecialty block is really cramping my style.

And don’t even get me started on the logistics of trying to find an international elective with appropriate dates.

Fourth year is NOT supposed to be this stressful.



6 thoughts on “The One Where I Whine A Lot

  1. Thanks for linking up with Medical Mondays. I can’t imagine anything worse than watching someone surf the internet, I mean dictate, in a dark room. I think I might take a nap. My husband says they have the greatest schedules and never see a patient. Interesting. Best of luck getting your schedule worked out, and I hope your summer isn’t ruined.

  2. I love your posts for the video clips alone!!! You are too funny!!
    Well, I’m sure somehow it will all work out. It always does. Still – to this very day- I never quite understand how Doc H is going to fit everything into a day, but somehow he manages. He takes on all these extra responsibilities and challenges (which is A-type personality, which I’m very certain all you med school/residents/doctors are and must be) and somehow manages to squeeze it all in. I’ll tell you right now… I couldn’t do it. I love Downton Abbey way too much.
    Always fantastic to see you on the Medical Monday link up!!! 🙂

    • I’m so glad that you enjoy my posts… always great to hear and I LOVE MM!

      Extra responsibilities are story of my life… I just agreed to ANOTHER project I probably have no time for. Whoops! But things are looking much better on my schedule now… (and, if we’re being completely honest, I still find time for Downton Abbey. Priorities!)

  3. So glad to meet you via the Medical Mondays post!! I feel lucky instead of sorry for myself now that you said you had to stay at the hospital for trauma call, haha. And I can understand your stress on the rotation schedule, I’m undecided on specialty also and am hoping to use July and August for rotations to help me decide…and radiology, yuck.

  4. OMG I hate surgery too! I’m doing head neck and breast surgery from next week. Not excited. And the scariest consultants.
    Anyway, don’t know if you’ve figured out your international elective yet, but we get a lot of elective students throughout the year, here in South Africa, if that tickles your fancy. You can usually set your own dates. Look into Stellenbosch Medical School on Tygerberg Campus. Just a suggestion 🙂

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