Neurology: the anti-surgery

August 21, 2007 at 8:13 pm (Clinical rotations)

I started neurology this week; and if today is any indication of how the rest of the month will go, I’d say I have a pretty easy rotation ahead of me.

8:00AM — arrive at the neurology room. 4th-year medical students who know that they’re not going into neurology eventually trickle in. Our future radiologist comes in 40 minutes late. Residents come and go, discuss the previous day’s patients, and ignore us students in the corner.

9:00AM — the stress of discussing patients amongst themselves is too much. We all go for coffee.

10:00AM — meeting with the attending to discuss the previous day’s patients. The attending regales us with tales of patients he saw during the Nixon administration.

11:00AM — see the first patient of the day. The resident finds unique ways to avoid seeing consults from other services by saying, “You haven’t given us the baseline,” or, “The patient was in the bathroom when I stopped by.”

11:30AM — lunch

1:00PM — time to return pages from the emergency department. While we’re there, I jump into a code and start doing chest compressions on a patient in asystole. My resident surfs the Internet. The 4th-years make dinner plans.

3:30PM — seeing these five patients has got me exhausted; time to go home.

Mind you I didn’t actually talk to any patients myself. I got to watch the resident do a few abbreviated physicals, but never touched the patients. Apparently, my responsibility during this rotation is to gain an appreciation of the field. All I can say is that I certainly appreciate getting a vacation after surgery.

While I know that neurologists really do work harder than what I’ve presented here, I’m still a little surprised that the residents don’t want us doing anything. They don’t even have us doing scutwork. I looked up the vital signs for one patient, but my resident later told me not to even bother with that. While I enjoy the break, I certainly want to get something more substantial done this month.



  1. 3/4 MD said,

    Enjoy it while you can my friend. As a 4th year my advice to you is to use this time to read. It’s rotations like this that make you feel like a space occupying lesion.

  2. REO SpeedDealer said,

    To hell with reading. Go out and live your life. I’m convinced that the only reason I got married is because I had back-to-back easy rotations in 3rd year and had time to go meet girls. I probably showed up to the hospital 2-3 days per week during those rotations and it was great.

  3. 3/4 MD said,

    TO hell with reading if you can get laid! otherwise read my friend it will help yah!

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