reflections on rotations: radiology

Radiology: This rotation is a two week elective I chose out of a line up of other electives. Radiology has been something I’ve always been somewhat interested in, especially since anatomy was my favorite subject of the first two years.

The people: I loved pretty much everyone I worked with in the radiology department at my school. Everyone was very laid back and very kind. The residents all seemingly got along well. The faculty were eager to teach me and happy to have me following for the day. I never got fussed at once. There was no yelling. It was phenomenal!

The patients: The only patients we really interacted with were those getting swallow studies or the like. During my first two years of med school I always assumed I would really miss patient contact — but I honestly didn’t miss it all that much. I think it has to do with our patient population being ambivalent towards their healthcare (which really bugs me, sorry). Also I didn’t know there were subspecialties of radiology which involved more patient contact (IR, breast imaging) if I up and get lonely during a residency.

The workload: This was very reasonable, which I loved. Growing up I think I always assumed I’d be okay working my ass off and would just make the most of it. After my 6 week surgery rotation I realized I don’t function super well while working my ass off. And I know some radiologists work their asses off too — but I guess I was just enjoying myself more on this rotation. (See: lack of yelling.)

The exam: Our school had an exam specific for the lectures given to me by the faculty, so I have no advice really. I think at most schools electives don’t have any exams, but what do I know? Not a lot.

Would I do this when I grow up? Heck yes! I loved this rotation the most out of all of mine so far. Even subjects that weren’t my favorite during the first two years (i.e., MSK), I still loved the days I was reading exams with them. Radiology is right now #1 in my spot of specialties I enjoy and would chose to practice!

Have you rotated through radiology? Were your experiences similar, or different?

reflections on rotations: psychiatry

As a little something for myself, and hopefully to help others, I thought I would take the time to reflect back on rotations once they are done, to review my feelings overall and share what helped me the most. Since I’m starting halfway through my third year, over the next few weeks I’ll catch up by adding rotations I’ve already completed. I JUST finished this one, though, so here we go!

Psychiatry: My school refers to this rotation as “Psychation”. Which it was, to an extent.

The people: It’s a vacation from rude residents and harsh overbearing attendings. Everyone in our department was very kind (although everyone had their quirks). I enjoyed working with these teams infinitely more than other departments.

The patients: This was hard for me to handle. I did not do a very good job of leaving my work day “at work”, as they say. On days where we interviewed a lot of patients with really tough stories and lives, I would go home and just feel sad. It’s crushing sometimes that we can help these people so little.

The workload: Much, much better than any other rotation, INCLUDING outpatient Family Medicine. I loved this part of it. (But hey, maybe I’m too lazy for my own good.)

The Shelf: Rumored to be the easiest of all standardized shelf exams, I only studied for this one for two weeks. Whether or not it bit me in the ass, I’m not sure yet — I’ll let you know when we get our scores back! What I found helpful in studying was…

  • First Aid for the Psychiatry Clerkship — it still goes by DSM IV, but there were no differences that were TOO drastic. As far as I know, the shelves this year are not messing with you when it comes to the differences between DSM IV and DSM V.
  • UT Shelf Review Video — I probably rewatched three times the week before the shelf.
  • MedEd Psychiatry Videos — especially the pharmacology and pediatric videos.
  • USMLEWorld Qbank — these questions are ridiculously easier than the actual shelf, which ticked me off. Damn you, qbank!!
  • Practice shelf exams


Would I do this when I grow up? Nah. While I enjoyed seeing something completely different everyday, and the niceness of the teams… I didn’t enjoy interacting with the patients all that much. Histories are a pain in the butt to get, non-compliance is sky high, and there’s only so much you can do for these patients. It broke my heart every day, which I don’t think I could handle.

Have you done a psychiatry clerkship at your school recently? What were your experiences like?

invaluable shelf review videos

If you’re in your third year of medical school, you know that preparing for shelf exams can sometimes be daunting. Through my experiences thus far (can’t believe I’m halfway through third year already) there is one video series in particular that is AMAZING for shelf review. (Ie, night before, mid-panic attack.) They are only two hours and pretty much cover everything you need to know in a nice question answer format so you can quiz yourself. Just try not to let it bother you that this girl is a fourth year and has infinitely more knowledge than I dreamed of… We all have those kids in our classes. Hope this helps!


UT Shelf Review Videos