Emergency Medicine Elective, Week 1

Just thought I’d drop in with a brief update about how I’m going to lose my mind. On Monday I returned to SJEH to begin my four week Emergency Medicine elective, which is, while so far very exciting, possibly the worst rotation I could have chosen. Over the next couple of months I have  to prepare for Step 2 CS (June 17th), Step 2 CK (July 17th for now, may be changed) and get everything ready for ERAS and the NRMP. In addition, by the 20th of this month, I have to submit the materials required for my school to create an MSPE so spectacular that program directors’ eyes will burst from their heads with wonder at what a spectacular candidate I am. This is of course, after they have swooned from the thrill of how awesome my personal statement and letters of recommendation are and how impressive my CK score is. A high pressure elective (with a schedule of call that makes my study schedule nigh impossible to adhere to) in what is gearing up to be a season full of strain? Excellent planning there!

More about EM – it’s intense. There are three shifts: 7 am to 7pm, 11 am – 11 pm and 7 pm – 7 am. I am scheduled for a shift roughly every other day (I have a couple of back-to-back days but the shifts are usually separated by at least 12 hours). On Wednesdays, we have mandatory lectures and Grand Rounds for four hours. One of these hours is devoted to student presentations. Mine is scheduled for the 25th. On the upside, I think I’m going to learn a lot over the next few weeks. The ER faculty and staff are quite friendly so far and it seems that they are willing to allow one to do procedures so I’m excited to finally to a pelvic exam*, a DRE and insert some IVs (I will probably consider this elective time wasted if if I don’t have the opportunity to do each of those procedures at least once). I’ve already participated in a few codes and used some makeshift rhino rockets to staunch the bleeding from one patient’s broken nose and I’ve still got two more shifts this week.  Even more so than the long hours, the tough part is the leaning curve. I think I’ve only got until the end of the week before being new is an acceptable excuse for not being on the ball. There’s a student there now who’s been there for four weeks and all the nurses know by name. Whenever there’s something to be done, the attendings call for him, confident that he’ll be able to take care of it without their supervision. He even helped resuscitate one of the coding patients that came in on my second shift. If I can come away from this rotation with some good practical skills and get to the point where I’m as highly regarded as this guy, I’ll be satisfied. If I can make it through this entire spring and summer without having a full-on nervous breakdown (while passing CS and scoring at least a 95** on CK), it will be quite an accomplishment.

Updates will be scarce in the coming weeks but I hope you’ll understand. Please cheer me on, dear readers! I’m really going to need it…

*Even though Ob/Gyn was satisfactory overall, I did not get to perform a single solo procedure!

** Preferably a 99

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One Comment on “Emergency Medicine Elective, Week 1”

  1. Gemma Says:

    Go, Crystal, go!


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