Internal Medicine

Kari, Third Year Medical StudentBefore I start this post – I just wanted to say a giant congratulations so all the newly matched fourth years, I appreciate you braving the new match system ahead of us. Good luck wherever you’re going!

If the first couple years of medical school are like drinking from a fire hydrant, I think third year is like trying to keep up with the fire truck on foot.

It seems like we’re always starting a new service, a new rotation, going to a different hospital, taking a test. It’s sort of a relief to arrive in Internal Medicine and be on the same service for 3 weeks straight.

Internal Medicine is I think generally considered a pretty important part of the third year curriculum. I’ll be honest – I’ve known my future specialty (peds) for months and I was kind of thinking of it as just something to get through.

Then I realized that I could learn a lot here, and that the Step 2 question bank is basically entirely Internal Medicine, and then I started the rotation. Outpatient was pretty great, and both my inpatient experiences have been really positive. We’ve had a pretty diverse range of patients at the different hospitals, and my teams have been great. I’m always impressed with how much the fourth years know – and appreciate it when they answer the questions and it can remain assumed that I did in fact know all the parts of Charcot’s Triad.

Here’s the thing: Internal Medicine is one of those arenas where the things we learned in the first couple years are finally used every day. OB/Gyn is like a whole crazy world on it’s own where tiny humans grow inside of people, and surgery has all these other things we need to know like how to suture, and why do we insufflate the abdomen to 15 mm Hg?

Internal medicine though – there’s piles of new information, but it feels like I can really take Dr. Werner’s pathophys notes and apply them directly to what I’m treating every day. It’s kind of great.

The point here is just that even though I’m not going into Internal Medicine, I feel like I’m really getting something out of this rotation.

It’s a pretty serious time commitment on the inpatient side, especially at Riverside – my current location, so on a completely unrelated note, the most exciting thing that’s happened lately is that I started flossing.

I could probably write quite a lot on the various merits of flossy sticks versus regular floss from my personal experience, but my dentistry school friends might point out I have no idea what I’m talking about.

I’m quite certain flossing is good for me, and if the only good habit I keep while I’m working these endless hours at Riverside is improved oral hygiene, I’ll take it. In just a week we take some tests and then it’s on to something new again.

Happy almost-the-end-of-the-rotation to all my classmates. I know you’ll finish strong. And if not, consider flossing: it makes you feel good.