Here it is. Finally. I know you’ve all been waiting eagerly for this. What?
The ultimate guide to surviving (nay, thriving) in your fourth year of medical school at the University of the West Indies, Mona.
It’s a harrowing year. Five blocks of thirteen clerkships, some of them running concurrently. Where will you find the time to eat, sleep, live a little? But don’t despair. You can actually enjoy fourth year here.
*Disclaimer: You will see the golden seam of my bias toward Montego Bay (home) and the Cornwall Regional Hospital running strongly throughout this post. Just embrace the fact that Cornwall > UHWI.
We’ll start with the offsite clerkships. First up:
Goals of clerkship:
- Deliver babies
- Learn as much as possible about common gestational problems and emergencies.
You definitely want to aim for Cornwall Regional Hospital or Mandeville Regional Hospital, which excel at the practical aspect (i.e. catching babies). Lots of babies, limited baby-catching competition. You can easily complete all your deliveries on site. At Kingston Public you’ll be competing with midwifery students (scary!) and at UHWI there are comparatively fewer babies to catch.
Bonus! Kingston Public has a super-dedicated, totally great post-DM resident who loves students and will teach you everything under the sun if you can pin him down. Like a leprechaun, only instead of gold you get good grades.
Next up . . .
Emergency Medicine/Radiology/Medicine and Humanities
- Fill your procedure card.
- Learn how to site IVs like a boss (and read ECGs with more than passable competence)
- Not fail Radiology
This rotation was only offered at UHWI and CRH in my year (2015). Hands down, Cornwall was the better choice. You end up competing with six students instead of thirty, and in one morning you can see a kajillion times the patients UHWI sees in a day. Procedures are endless, the teaching is superb (dedicated, nice consultants. Not that the UHWI consultants are mean. It’s just that, well, Cornwall rocks), and you don’t have to fight to the death over catheterization sets. Mostly because there aren’t any. Ha.
I only wish I had stayed awake for at least one of my Radiology classes because we got some great teaching from one or two people while I was catching z’s. Medicine and the Humanities is pass or fail so the most I can sell is the sheer entertainment of listening to one of the lectures ramble on about the history of Rome. Which is hilarious now, but later on in another clerkship you will wish he would teach the subject at hand. Less hilarious at the time, but still pretty hilarious in retrospect. (I really hope I passed).
Part One of a two-part post on “Hey, look what I did!” To be continued . . . later. Do you agree, disagree? Tell me in the comments!