This was 1 out of my 2 Dean’s Selective electives (the other is Cardiology), and each of these were split into 2-week blocks. Since one of these weeks was during Thanksgiving week, patient flow was very light, and this rotation was even more chill than it already would’ve been despite that.
Reflections on Radiology
- This is quite possibly the chillest rotation I’ll ever have.
This rotation was 2 weeks long, and my hours were around 8:30 a.m. – 1 to 3 p.m. I was allowed to take lunch whenever I wanted, and for however long I wanted, and if I stayed past 3, I was told that I was definitely welcome to stay longer to hang out if I wanted to, but that I could leave whenever. Since my second week included Thanksgiving, they actually gave me Wednesday through Friday off. (Translation: My 2-week rotation was really just 6 days of actual work.)
- Find images you have questions about and ask the radiologists about them in your downtime!
I asked how they’d systematically approach each image. In the afternoons, one of the radiologists would go over cases I’d picked out and explain his basic initial approach to them, what to look for, telltale signs, etc. I thought it was kinda cool how the radiologists had such different musical tastes from one another. One played festive Christmas music while another listened to intense classical, and another listened to Metallica while performing an EVLT on a lady.
- It’s very much a “what you make of it” rotation.
I was allowed to do as little or as much as I wanted to. I typically spent mornings watching procedures performed by the interventional radiologists, or would go over the thousands of teaching files in the war room trying to guess what the diagnosis was before looking at the physician report. I didn’t get to see very many patients, but I think that’s more the nature of this particular specialty. You can go about it one of two ways, but I chose to use that spare time to get studying done and to attempt to get caught up on all other aspects of my life.
- Let them know what you’re interested in.
They might be able to tailor it to your interests! I told them that I was interested in sports medicine, so I got to spend one morning with the MRI staff, and one of the radiologists even called up one of his friends (a sports med physician) to get advice for me. :] They also made sure to go over joint x-rays and the like with me.
- Radiology is a wonderful specialty for people who don’t like sunlight. ;P
At 3 p.m. on one of my work days, I accidentally said, “Good night,” to the radiologist I’d been working with, when what I’d actually meant to do was say goodbye.
- “It’s past 3 p.m. You’ve been here for too long!”
- “If you want to leave at 12 today and tomorrow and just take off Wednesday through Friday, you’re free to do so. In my opinion, you already proved yourself last week. You’re a great student, very sweet and willing to learn. You’re going to do well in life!”
- Guide to CXR (Chest X-Ray) Interpretation
- OrthoBullets (I mostly checked out the sports section!)