General Surgery - University of Virginia

Hi there,
I wanted to update everyone on what happens as one heads into residency so I will be describing my experiences here much the same as I did for the Match and Scramble.
Since Match Day, I have been reading like a “demon” to get a solid knowledge base before I start. Even while finishing my Gastroenterology elective, I have been reviewing basic patient care skills that every surgery intern should know in their sleep. I want to have as much in my head as possible so that I don’t have to think about the number of milliequivalents of sodium in hypertonic saline solutions or lactated Ringer’s solution.
I have been scanning the internet for an apartment complex near University of Virginia hospital that takes dogs. I have two little beagles that will follow me to Charlottesville. They have been my little “study buddies” through medical school so they will be my exercise buddies during residency.
I have received a huge packet of forms to fill out. They include things like permission for the criminal background checks, drug testing, personal information, health information an immunization, proof of citizenship etc. I even have to go to a specific drug testing facility nearby for an on-site drug test. (No poppyseed bagels for me :) ) Believe me, these things are standard operating procedure since 11 September.
I am also in the final stages of getting all of my clearances for graduation. Before you are released on the world, you have to be cleared by financial aid and academics. I also had to make sure that my name is spelled correctly for my medical degree. The next thing that I have to do is get measured for my cap and gown. For medical and dental degrees at Howard, we don’t wear the standard mortar board but we have the “beret” type cap with gold tassels that has to fit perfectly. We also have green and gold hoods. Our gowns are dark blue overall.
Orientation for PGY-1 housestaff at University of Virginia begins the second week in June so I have to be at least partially moved by then. Charlottesville is located about 100 miles southwest of where I am currently living. At least my cell phone will be working so I can make phone calls.
We are also required to complete and pass ACLS and for surgeons, ATLS during the orientation process. There are tutorials for using the hospital computer system (everything is digital at UVA University Hospital), long-distance codes and fittings for labcoats and scrubs. I am pretty excited about getting started.
I am ready to take on the responsibility for admitting, working-up and caring for patients as a resident physician. When I started third-year, I was afraid that I would never feel completely comfortable but what a difference a year makes! After my rotation at Mayo Clinic, I became very comfortable with evidence-based medicine and I became very polished with my patient evaluation skills. Watching Dr. Thompson work-up a new patient was one of the greatest learning experiences of my medical school career. I was very fortunate to have an opportunity to be on his service as a fourth-year medical student. He is truly a great teacher and clinician.
My major tasks in the next four weeks are: 1. graduation 2. Find an apartment in Charlottesville 3. Pack and have the movers move my stuff 4. Keep getting in good physical condition 5. Finish reading at least half of Sabiston’s.
More to come later… :D

Thanks, Nat! I will be eagerly awaiting further posts regarding your residency!

and for fun she'll memorize Netters Atlas…
Keep the info flowing when you can, this is a great learning and crystal ball tool.

Quote (futrfysician @ May 25 2002 5:15 pm)
and for fun she'll memorize Netters Atlas....
Keep the info flowing when you can, this is a great learning and crystal ball tool.

Hey JP,
Well, your prediction has come true. I am taking Netter's atlas with me and memorizing some of the pictures! I photo copy a plate and then color the photocopy with colored pencils or markers. It helps me to understand the surgical anatomy. The biggest difference here is that I only have a very small incision in which to identify the important structures.
Most of my day is spent just taking care of the patients who have come out of the unit or are post-op. If I am not the resident of the day, I am expected to be in the OR or in the clinic. Clinic is great because I get a chance to do work-ups before I see the patient in the OR. I am still needing a roadmap to get through radiology here! :p