Things you learn… on vacation

As any med student knows, vacay is just as essential to our training as the blocks of learning we do.  Without a break here and there, your brain just… kinda melts.

Seriously, though, down time is important to mental well-being and how you perceive your education as a whole. (Part of the reason why I preferred a 4-year to a 3-year program.) A soft reset once in a while helps bring up your energy, your mood, and helps you reconnect with friends and family.  Plus this time I had a bit of extra thinking space to get my CaRMS rank list together.  (shudder)  My beautiful spreadsheet is glorious.

I was fortunate enough to spend the last 2 weeks in Maui, one of my favourite places in the whole world.  And while we did have a couple of pretty slow days, I still did a lot of learning.  Do read on.

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CaRMS (AKA Gauntlet of Extreme Peril and Social Distress)

It’s time.

It’s here.

This fathermucker right here.

(All the 4th year med students are currently hissing at their screen.  Fear it.  Feeeeeeear it.)

The Canadian Residency Matching Service has been a necessarily evil part of every Canuck med student’s experience since 1970.  Matching about 1000 fourth year medical students to their preferred specialty and site of choice, while taking each program’s preferred students into account all through a centralized process is a logistical nightmare, and The Gauntlet somewhat reflects that.

(I want to stress how much I appreciate the work that the CaRMS folks do, whether it’s upgrading their system to a more user-friendly version or manning the phones for calming panicked med students.  It’s just a hilarious and ridiculous adventure I wanna share.)

So what is CaRMS exactly?

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Rotation roundup: Cardiology

Could it be?  Am I caught up on my roundups?

Three cheers for productivity!

It’s true, in the midst of the CaRMS interview madness, I have actually managed to finish my roundups, the second draft of my script, and most of my LEGO project.  It’s been an awesome couple of days.

But I digress.  The internal medicine of 4th year consists of a few weeks of selective time – i.e. choose what you’d like to do (in theory, anyway).  I ended up on the cardiology service for a wonky couple of weeks, thanks to the post-Christmas scheduling.  Which means I didn’t get to see dermatology, GI, endocrine, infectious diseases, etc., etc.  But it was a great few weeks nonetheless!  I spent a few days on CCU (coronary cardiac unit), a week on the wards, and a week on consult service.  Each brought a slightly different flavour of cardiology, from the interventionalist to the internist to the consultant.

Do read on, avid follower.

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Rotation roundup: Geriatrics

Seeing as I have a few days to myself in the midst of CaRMS madness, it’s time to revive this dead blog, huzzah!

This was ages ago, but I did a few weeks in geriatrics that I should probably tell you about.  Because that’s what I do.  Update you all on my life.  (Speaking of which, CaRMS post in the works soon as I catch up with my roundups!)

If you’ve never worked with the elderly population, you definitely should.  As a general rule, time wears down the rough edges we acquire in the ups-and-downs of youth.  Ergo these people are usually lovely, kind, and have a myriad of fascinating tales about their life.  This isn’t always true, of course, but even those who are a bit pricklier usually have a good story to explain why that is.

Do enjoy this roundup.

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Merry Christmas!!

Hello again and a very happy holidays to you, whatever you happen to celebrate!

With Christmas comes another set of covers by yours truly (not quite the originals but, hey, girl’s gotta have dreams), this year the set’s called Gyroscope.  What with all the twists and turns in 3rd year, it’s been difficult to keep balanced.

I’ve got them all here for your viewing pleasure – enjoy!

 – Atalanta

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Rotation roundup: Physiatry

I’m in the process of catching up on posts – I say “process.”  What I mean is “harrowing task.”

I keed, I keed.  Got a few things on my plate at the moment, not the least of which is waiting for interview offers from CaRMS, and not the greatest is trying to record some stuff for my annual disc.

But carry on my wayward son, and whatnot.

If you’ll recall, I was in Halifax a few months ago for a 3-week elective in physiatry and a proper debrief is a little overdue.  Halifax is a drop-dead gorgeous city and I couldn’t be more blessed to spend a few weeks there, soaking it all up.  The weather was lovely for the first week… then deteriorated rather rapidly as late fall turned to early winter.  Who knew rain could fall horizontally?

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Rotation roundup: Subspecialty surgery

This one’s gonna be brief.

6 weeks of various subspecialties is difficult to sum up.  Especially since my experiences on otolaryngology, pediatric cardiac surgery, and orthopedic surgery were different from nearly everyone.  For the non-med readers, there are a total of eight specialties that the med students are required to know about, but we only have the opportunity to see three.  Studying the scope of 5 specialties that you don’t even glimpse as well as trying to absorb 3 you see every day is difficult to say the least.

But I wouldn’t be Atalanta if I didn’t attempt to entertain you for a few minutes.  And by God, I need some entertaining, too.  (Plus I may or may not be procrastinating from doing writing that actually needs doing.)

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