Now that I’m in the thick of my audition for this month, I though I’d write a little reflection of how it’s been going.
It’s been stressful. So very stressful.
An audition rotation is kind of like a 31-day interview. You need to be at the top of your game 100% of the time. You need to assume that all the people you interact with- nurses, interns, residents, attendings- are watching your every move. If you mess up on one thing, it will stick with them for a long time and it’ll be harder to make a good impression.
For the most part, I’ve been getting along with all the residents except for this one senior. Sometimes she’s incredibly friendly and talkative with me as we discuss random non-audition related topics. Other times (maybe when she’s more stressed out) she will call me out on things I’ve done that are not to her liking by prefacing with the phrase “You know, since you’re auditioning, you have to…”. I’ve directly worked with her several times, and each time I feel like a complete idiot. I always feel regretful about something I did whenever I work with her, because she always comments about what I’m doing wrong or what I should be doing better. I talked to one of the interns who told me that she’s notoriously not good with students, usually yelling at them or publicly humiliating them until they have to excuse themselves because they start crying. He told me that if the only thing she’s done to me is give me criticism, then it might mean I’m not doing as bad as I think. Yeah, we’ll see about that. I still have two weeks of my audition left and will mostly likely work with her at least one more time, so I’m trying to really take to heart what she’s told me so that I can show her I’m capable of improvement.
In regards to working with residents, I’ve been trying to anticipate their needs beforehand and be helpful as much as possible.
“NB, I need you to see the patient in Room 1 and write the admit note. Then tell me your orders so we can review them”
“I already wrote the note and I just finished the orders for your review”
“NB, I need you to get the patient to release medical records and add them into the chart”
“I already had the patient sign the release and the records are being faxed to us right now”
I feel proud of myself for being proactive and getting things done before I’m asked, but this is really all just common sense, and all the other M4s who are auditioning have been doing the same thing- it doesn’t really set me apart.
One thing that is putting me at a disadvantage though is auditioning at a hospital I’ve never been to. Some of the M4s I’m with have rotated here as M3s, and they know how everything runs and where to find what they need. Meanwhile, my co-sub intern (who also has not rotated at this hospital before) and I feel like we were being thrown into the rotation, especially during the first week. I think the hardest part was that everyone expects a lot from us since we are fourth years; they just don’t know that we’ve never been here before and that it’s all new to us. It’s almost like we are M3s all over again.
We’ve also found that there has been little to no guidance on how to do things. We were not given a on-service orientation. During the first week when a resident would tell me to do something, I would enthusiastically reply, “Absolutely, I’ll do that right now” while simultaneously thinking, “Okay I guess I’m going to wing this too”. I really depend on the nurses, axillary staff, and more experienced M4s to help me out. There is definitely a steep learning curve, I think even bigger than the learning curve between M2 and M3 year. It makes me wonder if my core rotation site provided adequate training to my past M3 self, or if this is just an incredibly high-volume, high-stress, figure-it-out-as-you-go type of hospital. I’m thinking more of the latter. It is a county hospital after all.
Something else I did was re-introduce myself to the Program Director. My interaction with him this month is pretty limited, so I’m thinking of scheduling some kind of meeting with him. I am interested in going to this program, so I hope it goes well. It could also backfire, or have absolutely no effect on my chances of matching here.
Anyway, deep breaths. We’re halfway done.