What do 4th year medical students actually do?
Fourth year has been one of my busiest, and yet most enjoyable years of medical school. This may or may not have everything to do with not having any real exams this year, but eh who knows?
So far I’ve taken electives, interviewed for residency, and completed a few mandatory rotations for graduation. Each elective/rotation block is a month long, so what I’ve been up to has varied from month to month. One day I’ll appear to be in clinic, and the next month I’ll be in NYC working for Dr. Oz. My ability to be at a pumpkin patch on a random Wednesday afternoon only to be in LA a few weeks later, has led some concerned friends to ask me if I’m even in school. The answer is (sadly), yes.
So let’s catch up on what I’ve been up to since the end of 3rd year last July.
Block 1- Step 2 CK study block: I used this month to study for Step 2 CK which is one of the last board exams we have to take before match and graduation. It was a month solely dedicated to sitting in the library and running through thousands of board-style questions. Rivetting.
Block 2- Allergy & Immunology- I did this rotation at a children’s hospital in the area and at their affiliated clinic across town. I saw patients with seasonal/food allergies, unexplained rashes, asthma, eczema, and unique immunologic conditions like eosinophilic esophagitis and food-protein induced enterocolitis.
Block 3-Dr. Oz rotation. I’ve talked at length about my experience at the Dr. Oz show. Read more here. I spent the month in NYC researching, learning about TV production, and meeting awesome people!
Block 4- Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics- I decided to take this elective because I plan on going into pediatrics. During the rotation, I read up on topics such as paternal postpartum depression and also helped organize a conference about decreasing the stigma around mental health and HIV.
Block 5- Resident Readiness Elective- My school offers this elective to give us a month off for residency interviews. So this is the month I spent galivanting across the US.
Block 6- Surgical ICU- I just wrapped up this rotation yesterday, and it was as intense as it sounds. This is my first ICU rotation, and I’ve been learning a lot about caring for medically complex patients in the most critical periods of their health.