Friday, May 29, 2009

Returning back to med school (sort of)

Although I don't officially return to med school until July, I unofficially started med school this week. I couldn't fit a 2-week radiology rotation in my schedule during 3rd year, so I decided to do it now (since I have 6 weeks off and doing nothing). It's definitely a laid back med school rotation (yesterday, we were in at 9 - which is nearly lunch time for typical med school rotations and were done at 3) and there is no patient contact. However, it does give me a chance to assess how well I remember my facts from nearly 6 years ago. I am currently on the rotation with students who are ending their 3rd year, so they've nearly had a year of school, and as a result have experienced a lot and know a lot. But, besides the obscure disease that no one actually sees (except on the boards), so far, I've been able to hold my own (although, I guess I should wait until I see how I do on the exam before acting so cocky). Previous MD/PhDers have told me that it all comes back to you and I never believed them... but it does seem to come back pretty quickly (even anatomy). So, at the minimum this mini-rotation has helped me feel less anxious about the hard-core rotations that will come up soon (medicine and surgery are my first two).

But beyond that, it's made me realize that radiology is awesome! Since my research was somewhat radiology-related (I did use MRI's), it was a field I was always looking into. The fact that is has great hours, great flexibility, and (yeah, it's important) great salary, was really pushing me towards it. But without seeing much of it at work, I didn't really have a great reason to pursue it (other than research). Well, even though I've only had a few days of it, I'm much more impressed by the field. It really is a field that is very scientific. More than any other field, I think that the translation from basic research to clinical practice is the fastest in radiology. They already use techniques that are considered cutting edge (even for research purposes). Techniques that were discovered only a few years ago. I really like the fact that it has such a close relationship with the research side of things and the flexibility will make combining a life of research and clinical work very easy.

It's really early and I may change my mind, but so far, it looks like I'm going to continue telling people I want to go into radiology.


  1. Sounds like a rough career: listening to music while sitting in the dark, looking at pictures, contemplating disease. Sounds like junior high. :-)

    But seriously, I'm glad you like it. It would be a pretty sweet lifestyle.

  2. Well congrats on getting back into the swing of things!
    Before you feel too committed to Radiology, let me warn you: the majority of people I know who came into third year planning on doing radiology have changed their minds. Wait until you're on surgery and you get to cut someone open, until ER and you get to sew some poor kid back up, and until you code someone having an MI and they later walk out of the hospital before you make up your mind.

  3. Good advice. I definitely haven't made a final decision. Although, I have spent a decent amount of time working as a 3rd year in medicine, neurology and ER over the last 4 years (while in grad school) and I loved those experiences, I never really saw myself making a career out of either of them. As of now, radiology fits well with both my clinical and research interests (and actually brings in a lot of the other branches of medicine), but who knows what the next year will bring... stay tuned.