View Full Version : Consent & Med Students - BMJ
06-14-2003, 09:46 AM
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<threadtitle>What is med school / residency lifestyle really like??</threadtitle>
<title>What is med school / residency lifestyle really like??</title>
I'm very pleased to have found this board. I graduated 5 years ago in Computer Engineering and have been working ever since. I'm considering leaving my career and going to medical school. I've discussed this with a few people, including some current med students, MDs and others. Many of them feel that their poor lifestyle while going through school and residency wasn't worth it and in hindsight they wouldn't have done med school. Is this a common feeling?? When I heard this I was quite shocked....
So if anyone would like to comment on what the lifestyle is really like during med school and residency I'd really appreciate it. I'm a very active person (run, swim on a team, mountain sports, cycling, etc). These things are very important to me and I don't know how I'd handle giving them up, even if I knew it was temporary. Are med students and residents generally able to maintain a healthy lifestyle? Or is it basically school/hospital and sleep with no time for anything else?
Any comments are much appreciated!
06-14-2003, 09:47 AM
The first 2 years of meds are pretty similar to your undergrad comp. eng [your undergrad was likely harder and more demanding though].
The next 2 years and the first 2-3 years of residency are like you described in your final paragraph. Work, come home and study, and then sleep [if you aren't on call].
06-14-2003, 10:19 AM
It really isn't as hard/punishing as some people might have you believe. Yes, the first 2 years are similar to undergrad though I never studied as hard as undergrad. There is a lot of information to take in. However, I did have lots of time to do extracurricular activities - join clubs, work out, take up new hobbies. In clerkship, it was a bit of a shock at first but then you get used to it. Working 8-6 becomes pretty normal and many rotations aren't so bad (ie. psych, family medicine). One person in the graduating class still had time to play varsity football while in CLERKSHIP all the way through the playoffs. It's hard to do, but it can be done.
You do often study when you get home from work but it won't take your entire night. You'll still have time for a life though that varies depending on which rotation you're on. The surgical blocks(including obstetrics) tend to take more out of you.
I keep hearing horror stories about how clerkship drains you and turns you into a zombie (re: that guy in Tufts who wrote about it) but I haven't experienced any of that. I don't know if it's the school or what, but I've had an enjoyable experience and don't feel beaten down all the time (just some of the time). I think a lot of your experience will be based on your own prejudgements and expectations. If you plan to make time for an outside life, then it'll happen.
06-14-2003, 11:17 AM
As stated above it is possible to have a life during med school as is illustrated by the increasing numbers of people who are coming into med school, (or aquiring during), with familys, spouses etc.
I think the hardest thing about med school is the tunnel vision you develop......you live eat and sleep medicine....really hard not to during the first two years when you are with the same people 8 hours a day.
I really realized this recently when I did an elective in Vancouver and stayed with a friend from undergrad...all of a sudden I was coming home and talking about things other than Medicine....it was a refreshing change.....
So I think the take home message here is to try to keep your friends outside of medicine....join clubs.....churches what ever is your style. Medicine will only beat you down if you let it. It also helps if you love what you are doing.....nothing that you love can be a chore
06-14-2003, 01:58 PM
Moving out of the General Premed forum into the Med Students forum...
Here's an older thread that discusses the lifestyle a little more. It's busy. There's no question about that, and third year med school is a long and grinding year that will stretch you in many ways. It's also a great year for learning, and certainly is the time when you start truly becoming a clinician and being able to apply things you'd learned previously towards your patients.
06-14-2003, 07:45 PM
Thanks everyone for the great info. Right now I'm trying to talk to as many people as I can about med school in general. Unfortunately I am really not at all familiar with the process involved in going from applying to schools all the way to becoming an M.D. Is there a spot on this or another website that would describe things in general (especially from a Canadian perspective)?
I feel that there is alot of info I need to acquire before I'm able to make the decision that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life!
Again any info is much appreciated!
06-14-2003, 08:29 PM
I think this website should have all of the information that you crave [www.premed101.com (http://www.premed101.com)]
This is a lot different that what I have heard in the past; but my questions are about surg/oby/medicine in particular:
during these 3 rotations, can you still spend some time going out to bars/clubs or working out? Or is it as bad as it sounds?
06-14-2003, 09:39 PM
I found an interesting series of letters (http://bmj.com/current.shtml#LETTERS) in the current issue of the BMJ (http://bmj.com/) about consent.
Here are some thought provoking quotes:
"I was upset by the examinations and felt vulnerable and unclean afterwards. After the first three examinations I wanted to go home, but I still consented." (from the first letter (http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7402/1326))
'[A]t some stage in his training each male medical student should be placed in stirrups in a bare room and a strange woman should enter and "squeeze his balls and leave without saying a word."' (from the summary (http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7402/1327-b))
"[W]e could teach intimate examinations only to postgraduates who need to know, not to undergraduates or to post-graduates who will never need those skills..." (from the summary (http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7402/1327-b))
Has any one seen the standard consent forms?
(Do med students actually have consent to assist in procedures? One of the letters (http://bmj.com/cgi/content/full/326/7402/1326-a) suggest that this isn't the case in the UK.)
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