I was typing up my note today next to a third-year medical student talking with being talked to by their resident.  No matter what the resident said, the student would nod.

We should diurese this gentleman.


We should DNR/DNI this lady.


I don’t believe in beta blockers.


I kind of wanted to smack the student upside the head and tell them to ask questions! This was the hardest thing for me to learn during third-year — I’m on the quieter side (my mother the hoarder has saved notes from my first grade teacher to that effect), and I always felt like I was somehow in the way during those rotations. I’m still not great at piping up, but if there is one thing my Masters’ seminars taught me, it is to just freaking speak. I even learned how to hold my own against English PhD candidates, which is no mean feat.

And then I started rotations again, and whatever confidence I had is starting to dwindle. I can’t seem to shake this feeling of incompetence.  It’s the the administration is going to decide they made a mistake letting me in, and are going to send me away, or I’m not going to Match, or something. Then I get nervous, say the wrong things, and feel even more incompetent. Definitely did not have this problem during third-year — then I was legitimately naive and now I’m just stupid.

So I don’t say anything, fear volunteering my opinions, and turn myself into the med student bobblehead.

2 thoughts on “Bobblehead

  1. This blog tells me that you have a sharp mind. Perhaps youre rusty after some time off, but who wouldnt be? However, are you incompetent? Doubtful. Just keep your head in the books and in the game, remind yourself how familiar it all is – the information that youre reading and patient interaction. I have no doubt that you’ll be perfectly fine.

    1. Thanks for the pep talk. I feel ok with the clinical exam, impression, and coming up with a plan (occasionally my fellow will modify my suggested dosing, which is totally appropriate). It’s the random pimping, especially on obscure G-protein-coupled receptors and the like, that gets me.

      I do believe that cardiologists beat out neurologists in the “Nerdy Doc” stereotype!

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