Monday, September 12, 2011

Hello From The Clerkships

Hello to everyone in the Perelman-verse:

My name is Sarah Ginsburg and I am a third year in the midst of my clinical rotations. Incredibly, I am almost 75% done with my clerkship year. As a quick primer on the curriculum here, pre-clinical classes run from the fall of first year to December of the second year. After that, the clerkship rotations run from January of second year (staring 4-6 months earlier than other medical schools) to December of third year. The remaining time before graduation (15+ months) is really want you want it to be - some combination of electives in the hospital, a research project (Scholarly Pursuit), residency applications/interviews, and whatever else you can think of. I'm quite excited to be nearing the "whatever I can think of" stage. It really is great to have the extra time for electives to aid in the process of figuring out what you want to be when you grow up.

2+ years of med school learning. With empty space
because there is so much more to go. And shelves
trying valiantly to hold up so much knowledge.
Metaphor, anyone?
I've been trying to think about the best way to describe "Life in the Clinics". The honest answer is that I really don't have an answer. Each week - each day even - is a different adventure. Your patients change, your team changes, your location changes. And even when all of those things stay the same for a few weeks, each day brings a new set of questions and challenges. You come into the hospital each day trying to find the best way to help your team, whether it be performing the initial history and physical on a new patient, calling a consult or tracking down old records. The clerkship year is about figuring out how to integrate yourself into the clinical team on the fly just as much as it is about learning the facts of medicine and developing rapport with patients. Each team has its own vibe and expectations for medical students. It is a whirlwind, exhausting, sometimes baffling, but ultimately incredible ride. Which is probably med school - and medicine - in a nutshell.

I will now sign off for the night after spending two paragraphs on clerkships without actually talking about the clerkships. Tomorrow, ridiculously adorable children await at my outpatient pediatrics site. As a student, I work one on one with a preceptor, first seeing patients on my own then presenting to the physician. We then formulate a plan (on a good day, the final plan hopefully resembles whatever I suggested in my initial presentation) and go see the family together. Which gives me double the opportunity to interact with said adorable children. After one week (with two more to go) my favorite age is 9-12 months.

More updates to come as the fall rolls along.
Sarah Ginsburg

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