It's finally here, the first day of third year. Today was orientation day... all day getting lectures about what to expect next year and how to survive through it. For the most part there was nothing eye-opening from the various lectures. A couple of things stood out. One was a discussion on how to get along with others in our "team" (attending physicians, residents, nurses, etc. that we are working with) and how to carry ourselves in the hospital. One administrator stated that we should remember the saying "When in Rome, do as the Romans do." To an extent, I agree with that, but not everyone in medicine provides a good example and we should judge for ourselves what is appropriate in a hospital setting and we shouldn't blindly imitate the attitudes and actions of those above us. (Luckily, another administrator quickly mentioned that we should also be a force of change to make the hospital a better place).
Along these lines, I was pleasantly surprised that the med school and hospital are largely aware that the environment of medical education isn't perfect and seem to be working to improve it. I wasn't surprised by the report (of med schools in general... not just mine) that abuse of students is fairly common. To deal with it, a recent addition to our school is the implementation of an on-line method to report inappropriate behavior or abuse by others in the hospital. The report goes to an ombudsperson who is not a physician and has no relationship with any medical department. Although it is sad that such a system is necessary, it's nice that a lowly student can bring inappropriate behavior to light without fear of reprisal by those above them (something several students I know who have gone through med school before me have complained of).
Anyway, enough with the bad stuff... Tomorrow is orientation for my first clinical rotation: internal medicine. I'm fairly excited to start (though not excited about the hours) and will hopefully be able to relate some of my experiences here (really, more for myself than my three faithful readers, but you guys might find it interesting also).