Sunday, April 6, 2008


My considerations regarding the embarassment I felt during a pimp session have ultimately led to an inevitable truth: I should have known this material.

Whether it resulted from my not reading as much as necessary (I had been reading about this the night before, but fell asleep with my CMDT lying fitfully on my stomach and didn't get it in the ol' brain) or the reduction in patient and floor-type care contact, I don't know. I believe, however, that the atrophy of my knowledge was a direct result of various interactions.

For one, I have not had to deal with heart care in more than a year except in the OR - where the care is decidely more acute, with different drugs and algorithms being employed. In fact, I, along with hundreds of 4th years, haven't had much to do with medicine at all in many months. No matter how much you read something, if you're not involved to some degree beyond printed text you get stale.

Another factor is that I have been taking some time for leisure: reading fiction, music, working out, etc. Medicine has been at a back burner for a few weeks and it's hard to dust off the cobwebs sometimes.

Yet, in this humiliating and seemingly frustrating week I've learned something profound that has, until now, not been fully realized: You need residency training to become a doctor. Simple, right? But it's often so easy to think that we're coasting, doing well, and that residency is too hard and too long just to get a little ahead of where you're at now, so why do we really need it? Then you have moments like this and think "Not so" - the nature of trying to do something, failing, being called out, and then going over the scenario and reading about the current treatments helps create an impression in your brain that wasn't there before and would never have existed except through experience. And that's what it's all about.


Liana said...

msg, in case it wasn't clear from the second part of my previous comment, I was certainly not suggesting that you should self-flagellate or beat yourself to a pulp. I actually think you have a great attitude and you're going to be an awesome resident

MSG said...

Thanks. I didn't take any offense - since I realized that I actually should have known this (and did last summer).

Old MD Girl said...

Well OF COURSE residency is an important part of training. It's kind of scary to think that GPs used to be able to graduate and hang out their shingle.

You'll learn everything you need to. Every so often I forget something really dumb, but I try to chalk it up to part of the learning process. And usually I don't forget it again.

Old MD Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
pinkie said...

I totally understand. It's pretty scary how much of the information that was crammed into your brain since 3rd year can be lost after 6 months of 'light' work as a senior. I'm hoping that residency will be the cement that will finally solidify real life patient care. I'm sorry to say this, but everything we've done up until now is just fufu stuff compared to what we're about to deal with come intern year. Hang in there... we will all suck in July.

Anonymous said...

I am also a soon to be MD and am having the same sort of realization about how much I have forgotten in the past 6 months of interviewing and non-patient rotations.

I know, MSG, that you have had many posts detailing why you feel that only MDs should be able to prescribe certain meds, do certain procedures, etc. based on the 4 years of broad-based education we get. I used to feel the same way. But, now that I see how little I have gotten from my 4 years and how much I am going to rely on my specialty training I am really feeling now that I should have just done PA school or CRNA training. I could have avoided years of useless training (I mean, yes it was nice to get exposed to psyc but those are months i could take back) - pretty much all of M1 year is long gone and not really relevant to day to day clinical practice.

In the end, I would advise someone to go to PA school not medical school if they already knew what field they wanted. I mean, if I knew right off the bat that I wanted to do anesthesia, I could have gone right in and learned that in a specialized traning without all of the other BS.

I think i'd be better off. but, I am also not the type of person who needs to be "in charge" and have the MD to feel powerful.

do you ever wish you had forgone medical school and done some quicker, more specialized training?

Alice said...

MSG - As one who's been there, if you think it's bad now, just wait about . . . 2 months and 18 days. . . you'll find out how much you don't know. You and the patients will survive the discovery, though. :)

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