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?
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?).
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?):
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.