Monday, September 15, 2014

sending out my residency application/ERAS woes

I woke up at 4am to add some more programs and submit my application, thinking I'd have everything go well.

Turns out, ERAS went live at 8am and got overloaded.  They had to reset the servers and now they're in maintenance mode until who knows when.

Did you know that before a computer game is released, the companies have a server stress test to see how they can handle the demand?  I wonder if ERAS does that.  If not, they could learn from game devs.  It's 2014 and people hemorrhage money in applying for residency.  The service could at least be better.

oh well.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Burned out on residency applications

So ready for this to be over.  Do yourself a favour and research whether a program needs a special personal statement, since I learned a week ago that some programs want certain items in your personal statement, instead of one general one for everything you apply to.

I need one more rec letter to be uploaded, so I'm just trying to relax until it's in and I get to submit my app.

I'll keep you guys updated.  I'm glad it's finally residency application time, as busy as it is.


Thursday, September 4, 2014

The post-call life

After working a month when I took 24 hour call consistently, 12 hour shifts are a joke.  I'm so happy I'm not working overnight at all now!  

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Med school sanity tip #1

On rotations, don't stress about your schedule. More effort is put into making the schedule for residents and attendings, students are sort of left by the wayside sometimes. 

If no one tells you where or when to report, show up at 6 or earlier and introduce yourself to the team once you find them.  I never really bothered paging the resident or fellow because they have so much going on already.

In medical training, life is easier if you just surrender and take your schedule the way it's served.  There's not too much you can do to change things so just hang in there and remember it's temporary

Monday, August 25, 2014

General Surgery: Common Procedures

A lot of young people in medicine and just the population don't really understand what a general surgeon really does.  Here are common things you will see a general surgeon in residency do depending on the institution/volume:

1. Laparoscopic cholecystectomy
2. Laparoscopic appendectomy
3. Abscess draining on extremities
4. Colon irrigation
5. Whipple procedure
6. Distal pancreatectomy
7. Fem-pop bypass
8. Perirectal abscess drainage
9. Abdominal trauma surgery
10. Colostomy
11. Jejunostomy
12. Different procedures in plastic surgery (you can do a fellowship in plastics after gen surg)
13. A lot of similar procedures in pediatric patients
14. Checking on floor patients every morning, usually around 5-6am
15. Laparoscopic hernia repair with mesh
16. Open hernia repair

But when you're on the general surgery rotation, it starts to look like this:

  1. Cholecystectomy
  2. Cholecystectomy
  3. Cholecystectomy
  4. Abscess drainage
  5. Abscess
  6. Abscess
  7. Abscess
  8. Cholecystectomy
  9. Cholecystectomy
  10. Appendectomy
  11. Hernia
  12. Hernia
  13. Abscess
  14. Cholecystectomy
  15. Abscess
  16. Hernia
  17. Appendectomy
  18. Hernia
  19. Abscess
  20. Chronic draining wound/abcess
  21. Abscess
  22. Pilonidal cyst
  23. Debridement
  24. Abscess
  25. Debridement

And so on.  Throw in poor wound healing due to chronic diabetes and things start smelling and looking terrible.  Surgery isn't for complainers or people who dislike abscesses and the colon/fecal matter.  You have to love operating like a robot case after case after case and you need to do things exactly the same way every single time.  Any wonder why attrition rate in the US for surgery residents is 20%?

Remember: specialist surgeons don't live off of their specialty procedures alone.  You will keep doing laparascopic cholecystectomies and draining perirectal abscesses.

Residency app tips

Seek out the program director of your school and work with them to get a LOR if you're interested in staying at your home program or even if you're not, it'll help.

Make sure the chair knows your name at least and make sure they see you active and working hard. 

There might be people who are assistant program directors and you don't end up finding out until later, so work hard all the time! 

Surgery entry coming up soon, everyone!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

How many people fail out of medical school?

I've been asked this a few times as an upperclassman.   At my institution, I'd say probably 2 people dropped out in my class.  About 3 took a leave of absence due to grades and came back as a repeat MS1.  Failing happens but it's not the end. Med school is hard but there are a lot of people watching out for you if you're at a good school.  If you're struggling, get advice right away, because there's no time to fall behind.   Let me know if you need any help