Q&A: Replying to YOUR comments (Medical Resident Vlog)
Hey guys. I’m Siobhan, a first year internal medicine resident. Today is not like my other videos. You can tell I’m in vacation mode. I’m actually in San Francisco right now, so I’m not able to do a vlog in hospital. And I figured this would be a really good opportunity to answer some of the questions that you guys have been putting in the comment section, so check out the description below. I’ve linked different times, you can skip around to the questions you want to hear about. But first just allow me this one little sappy moment to say thank you so much for watching and contributing, for commenting, sending me messages here on YouTube and on Instagram. I really love hearing from you guys and hearing about your journeys and what you guys think. So it’s been really exciting to see this little YouTube community growing each day, so thank you. Okay, enough of that. Let’s get down to your questions. So midnight moon asked: Do you play any other instruments? So yes, I do. I learned how to play piano ,took lessons, but to be honest I’m a lot better at violin and I enjoy playing it more. So I find myself always going to the violin, and not to the piano all that much. So Akhi asked: Are you Irish? I just get the feeling of Irishness from you for some odd reason. Yes, absolutely. I am 1/4 Irish, so my grandmother’s Irish, but my name is a hundred percent Irish. And I think I also get the freckles from the Irish side as well. So Jimmy asked: What happens if you’re sleeping and you miss the pager? So when my pager is on… The key term is when the pager is ON. For me it’s never been a problem, I can wake up very easily in terms of those pages are very loud. I do know some friends who sort of kept their pager on their chest or clipped them to them, so it’s close to their head. You can turn on to vibrates if you have it on you if it wakes you up But I do have this one story and it was when I was in medical school and I was on the obstetrics and gynecology servic. I went to sleep early and then I woke up seven hours later, of course I was in a state of shock and I look at my pager and somehow it had turned off. Oh my gosh, so I felt like so terrible. And of course I immediately go to the ward and find out that some of the patients have had their babies overnight and I didn’t get a chance to be there. Which is sad, because I loved that. So from now on I always check my pager, just to make sure it’s actually on. Alright, so Hilal is asking: Are you paid for night shifts? Yes. Yes, that’s a big difference from being a medical student. It’s really nice to actually get paid. It’s a small amount and when you actually calculate it out by the number of hours we’re working, it’s closer to like four, a little bit over $4 an hour. So, but that is on top of a salary that we get. So next we’ve got Emily Chea and she’s saying: I’ve always wanted to be in the medical field, but I just found out about 26 or 30 hour shifts. Do you get breaks? Are you on your feet all 26 hours? Or do they allow you to take a nap? So hopefully the last video that I made, which I’ll link above is helpful to see that you do get some naps, absolutely. I’d say there have only been a couple of nights where I got no sleep whatsoever and I’ll tell you… That sucks! For me I get really nauseous, I’ve actually had that horrible moment when you’re like falling asleep and like your head is nodding, with that awful feeling. So that happens, but for me in my experience anyway it’s been more rare to have it be that bad. Do I miss something from the question? Oh, are you on your feet the whole time? So definitely not on your feet the whole time. You get to sit down when you’re doing a consult, looking things up on the computer, you get a chance to sit for a while. Often when I go and chat with patients, I actually just sit next to them on the side of the bed, write my note, chat with them. I think it’s a little bit nicer than standing over someone in bed. So Alondra Villagrana, I hope I’m saying that right. I’m so sorry, I know people make mistakes my name all the time, so I hate to do that to other people. How do you manage to stay so uplifted and have energy in hours like that? So definitely there are times when I don’t feel like I’ve a lot of energy, but it makes a difference that you’re on call with a team. And hopefully in a future video I can show you guys that we have our senior medical residents, we’ve got medical students, usually we’ve got three residents on. We often work in the same room, writing up orders and writing up our notes for patients. So there’s a bit of a community, sometimes we order food in together, you can kind of commiserate with people, so that makes a huge difference. And the other part of it is yes, I’m up late and feeling kind of crappy but then you walk in and you talk to someone who’s in hospital because they are sick. And they’ve had a worse day than you, they’ve been waiting a long time and when you start to hear their story and how terrible they’re feeling, it sort of puts things in perspective. And automatically your brain changes, you’re not thinking about yourself. You’re thinking about someone else, so that really helps. Okay, let’s see what’s next. So smiley asked: Is residency harder than being a medical student? Ehm, that’s a tough question. So I think we come to each new experience with different skills and so our perception of what’s hard is different. So when you come to med school, you don’t know the material, so the actual concepts are new, you’ve never been at a hospital, all procedures are new, the idea of a team, working with nurses, everything is new. So I think that’s really challenging, but then when you get to residency you have a whole new set of responsibilities and that’s definitely a challenge. And I’d say the hours in residency make it a bit tougher as well, but I feel like I’m coming to residency with more skills. So maybe when you balance them out, it ends up being about the same. But either way, I think when it’s a challenge and you enjoy what you’re doing, the idea of something being harder maybe isn’t always a bad thing, because it makes you work a bit harder. You’re excited, it’s a challenge that you can work towards. Maybe that’s just what I tell myself because I’m in the middle of it, but that’s the way I feel anyway. So next we’ve got Viola Haag asking: What are your hours like? And I hear they’re brutal when you’re a resident. I’d say right now my typical day I get there at 8:00 and I leave between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. So it’s a decently long day, but what makes it really hard, what makes the brutal feeling is call, so every fourth night I’m on call for about six months out of the year. And that builds up, because sometimes it’s not every fourth night. Sometimes they get stacked like Friday, Sunday or Friday, Sunday, Tuesday and then all of a sudden you’re feeling exhausted after that, but it’s not always like that. When I’m on subspecialty sometimes I only have call once every week and that starts to feel really good. Okay, so Mini Makki is asking: What program did you take in university? So I’m a little bit different than most people, I went to Indiana University. This is obviously my favorite sweater ever, it even comes on holiday with me. And I went to music school, so my undergrad was in violin performance and I was a music major. So not the typical path, but just shows you that you can do anything you want before med school and you can still go to med school. So Caleb is asking: How to make an application stand out for medical school? And how important is it to be different than other applicants? So I definitely think it’s really important to stand out. They are seeing so many applicants to medical school or even to residency, depending on which stage you’re at for applications. I don’t want that to freak you out. You don’t need something that’s so different. You don’t need to have an undergrad like violin or be a lawyer before, something like that. Every one of us has something unique about us, we each have our own story. We’ve come from somewhere different, we have a different life perspective, so no one is the same. I think it’s just about sitting down and really thinking and talking to your friends, talk to your family. What makes you unique? What would someone else say about you? What’s the thing that you feel proud about? Or feel passionate about? And you take, even if it’s something little, and you weave that into a story that you can present to someone else. So definitely not something to get freaked out about, but more about saying what’s unique about me, because there is something, I guarantee it. So Julie Rutherford is asking: Do you have to go to college before medical school? And if so, what classes would be appropriate to take? So it actually depends where you are in the world. So in some European countries you actually go right from high school into medical school, but their medical school is longer. And correct me if I’m wrong if any of you are watching and it’s slightly different for you. But from what I understand, if you’re the states you do an undergrad before you go to med school and that’s the same for Canada. Some schools actually let you go after three years of an undergrad and then you can apply to medical school, but most people go after four years. Some people even do a master’s before they go to med school. In terms of what courses are appropriate. I mean, there are gonna be some specific requirements that you’re gonna have to do. I would say, look up some of the schools that you’re interested in going to and find out what specific courses they need. I would say most of them are going to be general chemistry, organic chemistry, biochem, biology, things like that. But then I would just put a plug in, that this is a really really cool time. When you go to university, you have an opportunity to think broadly about the world and to be able to explore things that you might be passionate about. So I would say: don’t limit yourself in the terms, the course you take to only science courses. They’re only things to get into medical school, because at the end of the day being a good doctor is about being able to understand the world, where different people have come from. So taking English courses, literature, learning about the world and people who have come from a lower socio-economic status or people who live in the top 1%. You’re gonna be treating everyone, so understanding where people come from and the worldview they might have, will only strengthen you as an applicant and as a person. So don’t limit yourself. Next we’ve got Hayley and she is asking: How exactly did you come to volunteer in all these places? So this is in response to one of the videos I made about my story coming to medical school, what I did to get into medical school. So I definitely did just go online and start googling a bunch of different things. I had an idea that I wanted to get some experience in hospital. So I just looked at all the hospitals locally, they all have a little volunteer section in their websites and you can just get information. And I just applied to a whole bunch of them and saw what came back. But I wouldn’t just think about hospitals or healthcare, I think it’s a great idea to start talking to people in your community, your friends, family. What are some interesting places that developed in your community? Can you help a unique group of people? Do you have a skill that you can bring? Like doing arts and crafts or cooking or contributing in some unique way to your community. So don’t limit yourself, find a way that you’re gonna feel passionate about what you’re doing. Because at the end of the day, you’re actually putting in quite a few hours, so pick something that you like. Ah, there’s so many other questions that I want to answer. I just want to say that I always try to answer quickly when you guys write a comment. I read all of them, I love hearing from you. So definitely keep letting me know what you think along the way, it really affects the types of videos that I’m making. It’s a collaborative process between us. So I’m actually heading out, I’m going to be going to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s been a bit of a dream of mine, so I’m really excited about that. But I’ll be heading back to Canada soon and back to work, which means I’ll be able to put out another vlog from hospital in not too long. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already, leave some comments below if there are questions that I haven’t answered already. So bye for now and I’ll chat with you guys later.