I’ve just completed my IM rotation and it’s been quite the experience. I personally love IM; the holistic approach to patient management, the time spent in outpatient clinic and the variety of opportunity it presents for learning. I enjoyed every single second of it, really. I have to say it is not an easy rotation. It is time consuming and there’s never enough time to complete all your studying. When there’s time, there’s no energy. Here are a few tips that I hope will make your life a bit easier:
-Get all your white coat stuff ready. Read this post for more of what to have in your white coat.
-Be interested. Don’t leave until there’s nothing else to be done and your intern clears you to leave. Offer to try procedures even though you’ve never done them before. Be present. Make the best of everything.
-Do your utmost to get along with your colleagues. You’re going to need them.
-Know your patients. Be interested in them. Listen to them. Do alll of the physical examination necessary. Practice your history taking any chance you get. This is the basis of medicine & diagnosis.
-Help out the interns in any way you can. Intern life is busy and exhausting.
-Ask for help whenever you need to. Better to always ask for help than make a mess you cannot even begin to fix.
-Start studying early! I cannot overstate this. I really felt the burn when I only started studying properly for shelf a month in advance because I really was only catching myself and adjusting toward the end of the first month and spent most of the second month being a baby girl. The last month sort of crept up on me. So start studying the first day. I studied everyday obviously but just stuff that my consultant asked me to. Then every other day I would read two pages of my Step Up to Medicine textbook. Don’t be like me, guys, you’ll never get anywhere like that.
-Study resources: I used all of these during my rotation. Step Up to Medicine is such a great book but may take a while to get through. I enjoyed using Case Files: Internal Medicine which is 60 cases with answers and in -depth explanations. The questions were easy but I think the best thing about it had to be the explanations afterward, complete with patient management and complications which is the brunt of shelf exam work. If you can get your hands on Uworld questions for CK. Practice as many as you can, just to get used to the system of questioning and for exposure. It’s a great way of finding out what’s high yield. Also, last but not least Emma Ramahi’s IM lectures and the accompanying flash cards are perfect for the week before exams. LIFESAVING. Best two hours ever spent.
Interstitial Lung Disease
On the island we also saw a bunch of infectious diseases like Zika, Leptospirosis and HIV.
‘Typical’ * day in the IM life
5:30- Wake up/Morning worship/snooze
6:00- shower & get dressed
7:05- out the door
7:20- pre round/ do SOAP notes
8:00- Round with consultant/get pimped with questions
9:30- Brief teaching/ case presentation
10:00- ward jobs like venapunctures, IV sites, discharges/admissions.
11:30- escape for lunch
12:00- ask interns if there’s anything else left to do.
13:00- Go home
Time at home is mostly nap/TV/eat/study.
*There were days I stayed until 3/4pm but most days here are pretty short because smaller wards. Plus I got up later and later in the morning toward the end of the rotation after I mastered the art of getting dressed and making and eating breakfast in less than 45 mins.
It’s such a great rotation and I recommend starting off with IM just because it’s so close to class knowledge. Learn as much as you can and STUDY.