Tag Archives: med school

Sick kids

Pediatric emergency work is challenging.  It’s a weird combination of truly sick kids, kids who are sort of unwell, kids who are 100% fine, and, once in a while, kids who are at risk of actively dying.  All in the same shift.

I had some experience in it back in medical school, though in a different hospital in a different city.  Which basically means starting from scratch when it comes to the logistical things.  But clinically, it’s been a wonderful few weeks of refining differential diagnoses and procedural skills.  And much in the style of my last few posts, I thought I’d share some little pearls about both working in and visiting a pediatric ER.

Carry on, dear reader.

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Trial by fire

DSCN4615Hey all.

Apologies, I’ve had a lot of other Life Things going on at the moment – graduating in 2 days, moving in 6, trying to get all my residency stuff in order, editing the 1100+ pictures I brought back with me from Europe…

The silver lining: I found two bottles of wine sitting in my cupboard, woop woop!

But yes.

Back to the blogging.

The blog’s been blowing up today, for reasons I can’t explain, so I’m just gonna run with it.  Got a story to tell you.  About the slightly insane trip to Europe.

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Almost overnight, my answer to “Are you more excited or nervous about residency?” went from the former to the latter.  Well, I should say it happened over the course of the morning on March 5th.  Residency suddenly went from this nebulous, foggy concept with rainbows and gumdrops to a stark reality (with a metric tonne of paperwork, no less).  It’s one thing to pick a residency program, but quite another to prepare yourself for living it.

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Everything is awesome

Temperature outside finally made it over 5 degrees – check.

Got some sick new kicks – check.

Ran in aforementioned kicks faster and longer than I have in a year – check.

Hit my 3-year anniversary on WordPress – check.

Rocked the resuscitation simulation with my stellar teammates today – check.

Tickling my creative brain with writing for the med school skit show – check.



Oh yeah.  And I matched to rural family medicine.

It’s AWESOOOOME, woot woot.  I’m unbelievably stoked.  Thanks for the support and love, y’all.

Atalanta out.

 – Atalanta

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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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