Thursday, March 22, 2012

Last Day in Peds

Last day - it's been a fair 6 weeks.  Aside from being sick for one of the weeks, it's gone really well.  My preceptor thinks very highly of me and I've gotten my timing, writing, and presentation skills down as far as history and physicals go.  I'm looking forward to seeing adults again - kids are fun, but honestly, only if they can talk.  Babies are kinda boring.  Either way, seen a few good cases, gotten a couple challenging things to diagnose, but for the most part I refined my examination and presenting skills.  I have the test tomorrow and then it's off to Internal Medicine. 

In other news, I finally went to the other hospital and downloaded the case information for the patient who I want to present to my classmates.  I have a presentation in mid-April that I need to prepare.  Trying to get my rotations for fourth year all set up.  Our school's 4th year coordinator is apparently really bogged down with doing these, so I don't know how soon they will be out - I'm a bit anxious about getting the information out in time.  Hopefully it'll all work out and my rotations will fall into place without a problem.  Thank goodness UC Davis does an online application.  I should schedule my flight and hotel for my Step 2 exam - the part where we have to do 10 full patient visits in a row somewhere on the east coast.  Studying for the Step 2 written exam hasn't quite revved up, I'll need to get my butt on that.  This weekend I get a bit of a vacation, then it's back to work.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pediatrics, Week 5

Okay, it's been a while since I updated - various things have happened - boyfriend had surgery, we had a friend visit and stay with us for a week, oh yeah, and I got a really bad cold after not being sick with anything of any kind for over a year.  Anyhow, pediatrics is going well, even if it is still pretty boring by my standards.  I like patients that can actually talk to you, and the majority of our visits seem to either be under 24 month well checks or kids with runny noses and ear infections.  Occasionally we get older kids, ADHD kids, and the like.  I got to hang out with a pediatric cardiologist, a pediatric behavioralist, and a pediatric endocrinologist.  I'll stick to the highlights...

As far as my preceptor goes, he seems to think I'm pretty smart and capable - he constantly comments that I am really good at writing up history and physical notes and write really quickly and well.  Basically I have them done at Step 2 Board Physical speed - get in the room, start writing, and by the time I'm out I have the history written and am halfway through the physical, already having discussed the assessment and plan with the patient to some degree.  I also have Step 1 USMLE studying to thank for having a reputation now as a medical dictionary.  It's funny, but I'm glad he thinks highly of me.  Even though I'm not particularly interested in pediatrics, I'm considering asking him for a letter of recommendation - simply because he would probably write a very complimentary one and has said on many occasions that I will be a great primary care doctor.

The only real complaint I have about him is that he won't let me interview Spanish-speaking patients, he insists on us just getting an interpreter and not letting me have a try at it.  I'm not sure why, I suspect it's for medical-legal reasons, perhaps he doesn't want to end up relying on what I say and then if something goes wrong then he can't refer back to interpreter #### who misinterpreted for him.

Still going to my didactic sessions, been mostly working on getting my applications together for my year 4 rotations.  I found several places I want to go for - my list of possible good places has increased from 2-3 to 3-4, and my list of total feasible options from 4 to a bit over 10.  It helps that I am going for family medicine, which is more receptive to DO students.

Next month around this time I will have to do case presentation - I'm planning on doing it on that young homeless woman who came in with abscesses in her muscles that we thought at first was meningitis or endocarditis.  It was a really interesting case and is a good way to talk about diagnosing meningitis, which is an important thing to understand.

Good news: I also got back my board exam score and not only did I pass, but I scored the average for all 4th years who go into family medicine residencies.  While it is just barely over the cutoff for one of the programs in Sacramento that I wanted, I can do better on my Step 2 and hopefully that cutoff was more for COMLEX scores and not USMLE.  Either way, I passed that and am essentially caught up to where I should be.  Now to study for Step 2 and get my fourth year figured out.