Medical School Rotations: Neurology Clerkship

13 August 2015

*Disclaimer: My experience on every rotation is very site-specific. It may not necessarily apply to your clerkships. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. IM, neuro and Emed will be shorter as I've done them on a delayed schedule, and forgotten a lot of my experiences.

  What I liked:
We were treated like interns, so we had a lot of responsibilities. It felt great being an important member of the team, and the residents really relied on us to get all their work done for the day.
Having attendings who loved teaching; our hours were really long but the amount of information our doctors would pass onto us was incredible. There was a reason they were well-known in their field. Not only would they correct us when our differentials were off, they would draw out sketches, do quick mnemonics, and even tell us the latest research and upcoming treatments. It was great!
Getting to see the pt in the ED before the residents (most of the time); once we noticed a stroke was possible, and our timeline was correct, we'd run like the wind to find the neuro team and get tPA started. We also had a great ED team who would initiate tPA when they noticed a stroke and no contraindications were noted. Yay for inter-department team work!
Refining my radiology readings!
Seriously, the attendings and residents were great. Especially when they cracked dirty jokes.
Witnessing some of the best bedside manner I've ever seen by one of the younger attendings; no matter how late into rounds we were going, and no matter how frustrating the patient was, he always kept his cool with a big smile. AND he did great patient education too! Definitely an inspiration no matter what specialty any of his students go into!

What I didn't like:
Working very long hours, 6 days a week. Many of the prior students had warned us about this particular site, but we were so busy I barely noticed the day went by. I was always surprised when I was dismissed for the day! 

How I studied for the clerkship:
Honestly, it was really difficult to get a lot of studying done outside of the clerkship. I learned as I went. The great part of being on this team was all the teaching-as-you-go the docs/residents did; it was invaluable. Also, and this is a big one, the attendings ALWAYS listened to our full H&P, differential diagnosis, and treatment plans. Their corrections were great for making the information stick (or you'd nail it, and they'd fist bump you!)

How I studied for the shelf exam:
UWORLD neuro w/ notes - x2 (there are very few questions in the qbank for neuro so I recommend another to supplement)
Pretest - Neurology: INVALUABLE! There were 500 q's for me to work through, and it covered a lot of material missed by UWorld that showed up on the test. I'm looking at you peds neuro and psych. 
Reviewing the notes I took during rounds - I still have nearly one moleskine per rotation. Can't wait to have a bookshelf full of these gems!
      Hope this was helpful! Drop any extra tips in the comments below!

img source: webmd

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