Finished up Radiology rotation today! This was a 2-week long elective that is strongly recommended by our Regional Dean for each of us to take as 3rd year students. I worked closely with Interventional Radiologists (IR), Neuroradiologists, and Diagnostic Radiologists. I was surprised by how much freedom was granted during this rotation, oftentimes I would show up at 8:30am, check the procedure schedule for the day, and then decide which Rad doc I should hang out with. As I grew more comfortable with each of them, I floated among them throughout the day, trying to take advantage of each of their skill sets. While working w/ the IR docs I was able to scrub in and do procedures. When working with the Neurorad docs I got grilled on anatomy and imaging, but was taught how to read Chest X-rays and how to r/o BAD things. Overall I was pretty surprised by how much I enjoyed Radiology, I did not expect to get consumed by looking at images all day, but when they tell a story, it can get pretty interesting.

  • Hours: flexible overall, but generally anytime from 8:30am-4pm, Monday-Friday
  • What to Wear: roll out of bed and change into scrubs when you arrive.
    • Shoes: Danskos
  • What I liked about this rotation:
    • Very flexible hours. At our site you can essentially show up when you want and leave when you feel like you’ve learned enough for the day. This was truly a rotation where what you put in each day will determine how much learning you can squeeze out. There’s a lot of independence and the Rad docs don’t mind if you’re there, on the freeway, or at home.
    • Able to sit with a variety of Radiologists. I split my time 50/50 between the IR and Neurorad docs. IR does procedures all day & Neurorad diagnose and do LPs, Myelograms, Pharyngograms, and some Ultrasound.
    • Procedures! I got my hands on 4 paracentesis, 1 epidural lidocaine injection and scrubbed in for some Chest port placements (for chemotx) and chest tubes.
  • What I wish I had more of:
    • Patient interaction. But that’s just me. I found myself really wanting to know what each of these patients looked like with skin on and not just seeing their bones, tissues, and organs on a plain film.
    • More procedures. These really spice up the day.
  • Things to keep in mind:
    • Don’t be intimidated. These are some of the smartest doctors in medicine and despite their overwhelming aptitude, they were all really down to earth, laid back, and easy to talk with. I was definitely intimidated by their intelligence for the first couple days, but kept reminding myself that I was there to learn and make mistakes and it’s better to make them now than after I graduate. I also reminded myself that medicine is about teamwork and it’s crucial that each member of that team is able to communicate openly with with each other and despite your self-doubt and lack of experience, you still have something to contribute. .
  • Review if you have time:  
    • Common Bile duct anatomy, Circle of Willis, Branches of Aorta
    • Dr. Justice’s slides (very time-intensive as you all remember)
  • Advice on how to read Chest X-Rays: 
    • Everyone does this differently, but here’s what I’ve been taught:
      • Views: AP Upright/PA/Lateral
      • Indication: SOB/Chest pain
      • Priors: date of most recent chest x-ray
      • Lines present: Port/Chest tube/PICC/Telemetry
      • Evaluate Heart Size, Hemi-diaphragms, Ribs
      • Evaluate Pleural spaces, Parenchyma
      • Determine if there is Air space or Interstitial opacification
        • Air Space: patchy, lobular, poorly-defined, air bronchograms
        • Interstitial: linear, well-defined

Hope some of this is helpful! Miss you all!



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