Rotation: Inpatient Neurology

Name/Location of Clinical Rotation

Inpatient stroke at our local stroke center/Inpatient General Neurology

What did I like most about this specialty?

It was pretty relaxed. I got to spend a lot of time with my patients, and there was a lot of time to think and research things for my patients.

What did I like least about this specialty?

There were some really sad stories, and what I didn’t like about Neuro was that a lot of the time, the patients never got better; at best, we might halt or slow a disease process, but we didn’t really fix anything.

Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like?

I was on inpatient stroke/neuro consult and had my ED experience, which gave me a lot of unique experiences. I enjoyed that part, and I feel like I got a view of a large scope of that sort of practice.

Did my interests, values, kills and personality fit with this specialty? If yes, how did they fit? If not, why might they not be compatible?

I liked that I got so much time with my patients, but it isn’t the right specialty for me. It did not click at all.

What are the possible practice settings exist for this specialty? Do any of them interest me and do I know enough about them?

There’s inpatient, outpatient, and subspecialties in stroke and lots of things that I didn’t know about prior to this rotation! I feel like I got a good view of them, but I don’t see myself pursuing neurology. Right now my list is: IM>Neuro>Surgery, but I’m only on my third rotation!

What info do I still need?

None–I feel like I saw enough and got a good enough feel of it to know that I am interested in looking elsewhere for my specialty selection.

Has my perception of this specialty changed? If yes, how?

I learned a lot on this service. I really sucked at localizing lesions in the beginning, and with the neuro exam encompassing so many steps, I was always nervous performing a total neuro exam in front of my attending and residents. I felt like I had a good relationship with many of my patients. I still wonder about some of them, how they are doing. I do have a much higher respect for the specialty now.

Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing this specialty?

Now that I’ve gotten a chance to really see what working in neurology is like, I do not think I will be selecting it, but it has been a positive experience.

Right now, how interested am I in this specialty?

IM>Neuro>Surgery at this point.

What information do I still need to evaluate this specialty? Any other comments or reflections?

Some of these patients were so sad. I tried to give my patients plenty of time to complete the MMSE exam, but it was frustrating to them as well as me when they tried so hard on this silly set of tests and sometimes could just not do them no matter how hard they tried.

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One Week to Go!

I take Step 1 in one week. In all honesty, I will be so thankful to have it over with. Seven weeks in study isolation with my falling-apart copy of First Aid (minus my time spent on DIT videos… that’s social interaction, right?) have nearly driven me mad. Especially when we have had some gorgeous weather (so I’ve been told…) and I haven’t left my study area in that timeframe. When I do get a quick chance to run to the store, I feel like I don’t know how to interact with society….

I did take one day to get all of my paperwork done for the VA (I was hoping that my old VA paperwork would transfer from Indianapolis to Louisville, but I was out of luck there and had to redo all of it), even though I didn’t know if I would even be spending any time there on rotations, not having our schedules yet…. which turned out to be a good thing, because this week I got a very short list of my schedule for my first rotation! I will be starting my Internal Medicine rotation at the VA, two weeks on Cardiology and two weeks Infectious Disease! Those were my top choices for the elective month of my Internal Medicine rotation, so I’m pretty excited. The second month of my IM rotation is at University Hospital where I’ll be on wards (I’m not even 100% sure what that means). My first rotation starts one month from today! I’m really hoping for great experiences on this first rotation as a third year medical student, as I figure out how medicine works in a real setting, all day every day. How is it possible that my first two years went by so quickly?!

So that is a quick update from me. One week til Step 1, one week and two days until we celebrate a special girl’s first birthday, and less than 3 weeks until we take our longest family vacation ever. I cannot even tell you how excited I am that this is almost over and I get to spend some time with my family in the mountains again.

Back to studying. #CrunchTime #FinalPush #JustKeepSwimming