Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Grand Rounds, Vol 7 Number 41: An Ode to Trainees

I attended my very first grand rounds as a third year med student. The talk was given by my former pathology professor to a large auditorium packed with students, residents, fellows, and attendings. I don't remember the topic of the lecture, but I do remember this:

Midway through the lecture, the professor called on me. In an hour-long lecture, he called on one person out of 200 in the audience, and somehow that person was me. I almost choked on my cinnamon-raisin bagel.

I wish I could say I gave some brilliant answer and impressed everyone in the room. I didn't. I was so stunned at being called on that I just sat there in silence, desperately hoping maybe he was actually calling on some pathologist in the audience with the same name as me. Eventually, he moved on.

All in all, not my favorite grand rounds.

But this week's grand rounds are going to be awesome. I'm dedicating it to all the medical trainees that got humilated during lectures, pimped during rounds, or tried to answer three beeping pagers at once.

I've divided the submissions into different categories. We'll start out with the scariest week of the year....

OMG, it's the first week of July!!!!!!!!!!

July is considered the most dangerous time of the year to get sick and Medaholic explains why. Except in my residency, the new interns started in mid-June, obviously a dastardly ploy on their part to turn the system on its head.

We also have GlassHospital talking about first days and transitions and being asked about a rash on the first day of med school. I can relate:

And LicensedtoPill takes us through a typical hospital orientation.

Now some anecdotes...

The always hilarious Dr. Grumpy tells how his former attending dealt with a difficult patient. Go.Treat.Heal explains why med students shouldn't be trusted with sharp objects.

Chris McCulloh tells the story of how he nearly (accidentally) cursed out an attending physician. We have some Q&A's between a trainee and the trainer. And finally, Gizabeth Shyder tells of her experience with rectal exams in training. (Rectal exams = always funny)


As it turns out, people on the internet like to give their opinion on stuff. I know, it came as quite a shock to me too. As such, I got a lot of submissions expressing opinions on the medical training process.

For example, are the changes to the MCAT a good idea? What should nurses in training wear? How important is learning a good physical exam? And do women in training need to act like men in order to succeed?

And then there are the opinions on the training process itself, such as should med students be trained like Navy SEALS? Is 3rd year of med school harder than it needs to be? And what about resident duty hours?

Wisdom and Advice

Finally, some bloggers have been kind enough to share wisdom and advice for readers through all stages of medical training:

Pre-clinical: Action Potential shares some hilarious questions she'd like to ask her doctor now that first year is over.

Third year: Diagnosing Chaos shares lessons learned on first day of 3rd year.

Fourth year: Happy Hospitalist weighs in on 4th year rotations he recommends for becoming a hospitalist. Or if you are interested in Family Medicine, this is how Dr. Pullen made his decision.

Residency: 33 Charts has some advice to new interns. Gravity Circus gives advice on how not to sleep through your pager while on call. I could have used this advice when I somehow fell asleep on top of my pager as an intern.

And beyond: And of course, who learns as much as during their first year as an attending?

Lastly, we have a moving post from Solitary Diner about how her father's cancer diagnosis shaped her development as a physician.

That concludes this week's grand rounds. Since I received so many great submissions, I'm afraid I did not include ones that were off topic. If you feel there's anything ultra fabulous that I missed, please leave the link as a comment so readers can view it.

Next week: Check the calendar for updates on who will be hosting.


  1. Wow…ambitious!

  2. Waooo, being called on rounds. Just yesterday I was sitting on rounds surfing the phone because the residents were speaking so low I couldn't hear. Expected I knew nothing about the patient being present. The attending started asking questions and even more so he said: any 4th YEARstudents knows? A girl from my class raised her hand and gave an awesome answer, but she could't figure out his comeback. Then he proceeds to look at me (on hindsight my mistake was to make eye contact) and calls me by my name. I sight and stand up, he jokes "now you wish you i didn't know your name haha" I actually though so. I didn't even think and said I don't know. After struggling a bit I came to the answer. But more impressively I knew the other question he asked, not because of medicine but because I SCUBA dive. The attending joke today when he saw me skip rounds, "you got scared". I did.

  3. Aw, thanks for including me, Fizzy! These posts and pictures are all awesome; way to be awesome. :)

  4. Just an honor to be mentioned, kids.
    So far, my favorite is Gizabeth's.

  5. Thanks for including my post, great job on the collection of posts and stories. Keep up the good work, as always!

  6. Love your cartoons, especially the family history one. That's just good humor!

  7. Thanks for including my rant about the work hours! Love the blog. And so glad to see more people doing it!