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Shadowing VS Surgical Elective? watch

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    Hi, I posted a few days ago about being due to start a month long shadowing with a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    Today I just received an official email from someone at the Hospital confirming everything, and also informed me that it's a student elective as opposed to just shadowing. specifically a "Student Elective in Cardiothoracic Surgery under the supervision of Mr [insert surgeon's name]"

    Does this mean It'll actually be treated purely as an elective as opposed to shadowing, and if so would it count as an official elective in regards to my medical degree? (I'm 1st year so not doing clinical placements yet) Can someone also explain the exact differences in roles the student is expected to play in shadowing vs elective placement

    thanks
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    Was this through your university? Why are you self-organising weeks of shadowing inside term time?

    Do they know you're a first year?

    ...Have you organised an elective as a first year? Lol.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Was this through your university? Why are you self-organising weeks of shadowing inside term time?

    Do they know you're a first year?

    ...Have you organised an elective as a first year? Lol.
    Haha a lot of questions,

    "Was this through your university? Why are you self-organising weeks of shadowing inside term time?"

    - Not through my university. I rang up the surgeon's secretary and told them I was a med student at the university and was really interested in gaining some clinical experience and shadowing that particular surgeon. It's one of the hospitals that med students from my uni do clinical placements/rotations in so they're used to organizing electives/clinical placements for the medical school and such i suppose. It was self arranged directly. Also we've now ended up moving the dates to out of term time (winter break starting from dec 18) because it would have been too inconvenient in term time because of classes

    As for why: why not? I know surgery's the career for me, might as well start early.

    "Do they know you're a first year?"

    - They are aware yes. I'm sure it must be unusual for them

    "Have you organised an elective as a first year? Lol."

    - Appears to be the case haha
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    As for why: why not? I know surgery's the career for me, might as well start early.
    I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.. What are you expecting to gain from the experience? You'll be very lucky to be allowed to assist in theatres but either way I'm not sure if you'd get much benefit from being in theatre to begin with if you don't have your anatomy basics yet.

    If you won't be in theatres, I presume you'll be on the wards? You could maybe practise your history taking (what you'll have learnt so far) but very little else other than basic procedures.

    All in all I'm not sure if I'm convinced if that's the best idea at your stage.. but it would certainly help us guide you if you tell us what you're expecting to gain.
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    As for why: why not? I know surgery's the career for me, might as well start early.
    If you are only a first year, how do you know? Have you even been on surgical ward yet?

    For what it's worth, a holiday placement in your first year will count for next to nothing when it comes to surgical speciality interviews 6+ years down the line.
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    At my school, electives must be spent doing hand-on clinical work in preparation for graduation so there wouldn't be a chance in hell of that counting as an elective. Not that I'd want it to either - elective is most people's best experience from medical school and I can't wait for mine haha.

    Most likely it is simply a case of semantics and you'll be shadowing the surgeon as was previously agreed. As others have said, I would be slightly cautious about pigeon-holing yourself so early in your career when you can't realistically have a great understanding of what it entails but don't hesitate to follow your interests. Be careful about burning yourself out and taking on too much, especially during first year which is stressful and a big step-up for most people but otherwise, I'd say go for it!
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Hi, I posted a few days ago about being due to start a month long shadowing with a cardiothoracic surgeon.

    Today I just received an official email from someone at the Hospital confirming everything, and also informed me that it's a student elective as opposed to just shadowing. specifically a "Student Elective in Cardiothoracic Surgery under the supervision of Mr [insert surgeon's name]"

    Does this mean It'll actually be treated purely as an elective as opposed to shadowing, and if so would it count as an official elective in regards to my medical degree? (I'm 1st year so not doing clinical placements yet) Can someone also explain the exact differences in roles the student is expected to play in shadowing vs elective placement

    thanks
    No it wouldn't count as an elective towards your medical degree, as there'll presumably be a prescribed time when you have to do your official elective. That doesn't matter anyway - you can do your proper elective at the right time anyway.

    I imagine, as someone else said above, it's just an issue of semantics, that will make no difference to your placement. Just as long as they're aware what year you're in etc. I guess if I was to speculate, they might expect an "elective student" to be more knowledgeable, have more clinical experience etc, than a first-year doing shadowing. But anyway, you would just have to remind them that you're in first year, and I can't imagine that will cause any issues.

    Cardiothoracic surgery is insanely competitive, so tbh, I imagine it could only count in your favour that you tried to be keen and organise placements early in your medical school career (although I imagine it'll have minimal impact, but hey, it definitely shouldn't have a negative impact).
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Does this mean It'll actually be treated purely as an elective as opposed to shadowing, and if so would it count as an official elective in regards to my medical degree? (I'm 1st year so not doing clinical placements yet) Can someone also explain the exact differences in roles the student is expected to play in shadowing vs elective placement

    I don't think there is a defined universal role for an 'elective' student as opposed to a 'shadowing' student- my experience of placements is that they vary greatly in what you are expected to do and what opportunities are open to you depending on numerous factors ranging from how willing the staff are to teach, how busy the department is , the patient case load etc...

    (Original post by insert-username)
    We've now ended up moving the dates to out of term time (winter break starting from dec 18) because it would have been too inconvenient in term time because of classes

    As for why: why not? I know surgery's the career for me, might as well start early.
    Its great that you're enthusiastic and proactive, and you are to be commended for that. But I'd just be mindful of a few things: firstly, be careful that you dont try to run before you can crawl- you are a long way from speciality selection, and there are many many hoops that you will have to jump through before you are in a position to start surgical training in earnest (if thats still what you'll want to do by the time you get there). Its great to get in early, but all your endeavours will be worthless if you don't also make sure that you pass first year and all subsequent years in med school (of which surgery will only be a small part). At my med school, the president of the student surgical society a couple of years above me came periolusly close to being chucked out for failing third year- he'd been so devoted to heading up the society he had neglected to brush up on all the neuro, psych, rehab, paeds and o&g he needed to pass the exams....

    Also, burn out is real and common. Medical school is a long long slog and I wouldn't go sacrificing holidays unnecessarily. This comes from my own bitter experience- I was very into trop med in the early years of medical school, and I managed to get a sponsored summer placement abroad in a hospital between 2nd and 3rd year. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot, but it used up pretty much all of my summer break so I returned to a gruelling clinical year completely exhausted and went ever so slightly mental with the stress of it all. Hence, I'm a great believer in the vital importance of taking proper breaks as a survival tactic!!!
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    (Original post by LetoKynes)
    I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.. What are you expecting to gain from the experience? You'll be very lucky to be allowed to assist in theatres but either way I'm not sure if you'd get much benefit from being in theatre to begin with if you don't have your anatomy basics yet.

    If you won't be in theatres, I presume you'll be on the wards? You could maybe practise your history taking (what you'll have learnt so far) but very little else other than basic procedures.

    All in all I'm not sure if I'm convinced if that's the best idea at your stage.. but it would certainly help us guide you if you tell us what you're expecting to gain.
    Hey thanks for your reply
    "I think you're getting a little ahead of yourself.. " Your comment struck me as a bit odd... I dont know why you're making presumptive comments like that when you don't know me.
    I understand that there's no rush for me to do an elective or gain any clinical experience so early on, but it's something I want to do and am very happy doing. I'm just trying to gain some experience and learn in my own free time, it really doesn't make any difference to me whether I'm in first year or 3rd year as long as I have clear learning objectives for my placement.
    though it's unclear to me at this point if I'll get to scrub in, i'll definitely be in theatre because it's been made clear that the surgical activity will be primary focus of my placement. I'll most likely be on the wards as well which I look forward to, like you mentioned it'll be great to practice history taking and shadowing my consultant on his rounds (it's likely i might be expected to pre round though i havent confirmed this) Either way only good can come of having early clinical experience in a speciality i'm really interested in, it might not be an official elective but its something i'll enjoy as i'll be learning a lot and also something that'll give me even better preparation for 3rd year when my official placements come about. I also think its never a bad idea to make connections early with experiences like this, if I make a good impression early on it'll mean good references/referee contacts for my cv which will mean better chances at getting the electives I want in the future. Most important reason for me though is just the experience itself and my learning outcomes.
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    (Original post by evil_abed)
    At my school, electives must be spent doing hand-on clinical work in preparation for graduation so there wouldn't be a chance in hell of that counting as an elective. Not that I'd want it to either - elective is most people's best experience from medical school and I can't wait for mine haha.

    Most likely it is simply a case of semantics and you'll be shadowing the surgeon as was previously agreed. As others have said, I would be slightly cautious about pigeon-holing yourself so early in your career when you can't realistically have a great understanding of what it entails but don't hesitate to follow your interests. Be careful about burning yourself out and taking on too much, especially during first year which is stressful and a big step-up for most people but otherwise, I'd say go for it!
    Hey thanks for the reply and encouragement! =) I think its the opposite of pigeon holing actually, One of the purposes of getting myself clinical experience/placements is so that i can gain a much better and realistic understanding of what the specialities i'm interested in entails so that i'm more informed when i make statements like "i'm very interested in so so and so" for example. To me it really doesn't make much difference whether i'm in1st year or 3rd year because my learning objectives are the same
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    (Original post by twmffat_twp)
    I don't think there is a defined universal role for an 'elective' student as opposed to a 'shadowing' student- my experience of placements is that they vary greatly in what you are expected to do and what opportunities are open to you depending on numerous factors ranging from how willing the staff are to teach, how busy the department is , the patient case load etc...



    Its great that you're enthusiastic and proactive, and you are to be commended for that. But I'd just be mindful of a few things: firstly, be careful that you dont try to run before you can crawl- you are a long way from speciality selection, and there are many many hoops that you will have to jump through before you are in a position to start surgical training in earnest (if thats still what you'll want to do by the time you get there). Its great to get in early, but all your endeavours will be worthless if you don't also make sure that you pass first year and all subsequent years in med school (of which surgery will only be a small part). At my med school, the president of the student surgical society a couple of years above me came periolusly close to being chucked out for failing third year- he'd been so devoted to heading up the society he had neglected to brush up on all the neuro, psych, rehab, paeds and o&g he needed to pass the exams....

    Also, burn out is real and common. Medical school is a long long slog and I wouldn't go sacrificing holidays unnecessarily. This comes from my own bitter experience- I was very into trop med in the early years of medical school, and I managed to get a sponsored summer placement abroad in a hospital between 2nd and 3rd year. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot, but it used up pretty much all of my summer break so I returned to a gruelling clinical year completely exhausted and went ever so slightly mental with the stress of it all. Hence, I'm a great believer in the vital importance of taking proper breaks as a survival tactic!!!

    Hey thanks so much for taking the time to reply with the helpful advice and detailed info! Really appreciated
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Hey thanks for the reply and encouragement! =) I think its the opposite of pigeon holing actually, One of the purposes of getting myself clinical experience/placements is so that i can gain a much better and realistic understanding of what the specialities i'm interested in entails so that i'm more informed when i make statements like "i'm very interested in so so and so" for example. To me it really doesn't make much difference whether i'm in1st year or 3rd year because my learning objectives are the same
    (Original post by insert-username)
    As for why: why not? I know surgery's the career for me, might as well start early."
    This sounds quite a lot like pigeon-holing, in that you are unerringly sure of what you want to do before having a "realistic understanding of what the specialties you're interested in entails" and are now seeking justification for your interests. Either way, I don't know you or your reasons so I am not judging one bit and would always encourage people to follow their interests, albeit with an open mind.

    As for your learning objectives, I'd suggest it's premature for you to say your learning objectives are the same whether you're in 1st or 3rd year, simply as you are not in 3rd year yet and you have no idea what might happen in that time! Even if you are still (or more) interested in surgery, your learning objectives might include undertaking an audit or other project, or learning simple surgical skills which perhaps might not be something you are aiming to do at this stage.
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    (Original post by evil_abed)
    This sounds quite a lot like pigeon-holing, in that you are unerringly sure of what you want to do before having a "realistic understanding of what the specialties you're interested in entails" and are now seeking justification for your interests.

    ...hm? :eek3:

    By seeking out clinical experience in my own time to learn more about a speciality I'm interested in (and therefore having a better understanding of whether it's something i'd still be interested in) I'm pigeon holing myself? I'm just confused as to why you seem so insistent on repeatedly using that term? I'm pretty interested in 'The walking dead' tv series but it doesn't mean i wont be interested in other shows or am pigeon holing myself to only ever watch the walking dead for the rest of my life. I havent sent out a job application for cardiothoracic surgery, i'm just undertaking a shadowing placement in my own time to learn more about the specialty haha

    I'm very interested in surgery, the practical nature and role as well as some other factors (such as the kind of cases dealt with) means that I simply prefer it to clinical medicine and will most likely be working towards a surgical career by the end of my degree- but that could change throughout med school as I gain a better understanding of my interests and maybe even develop new interests. But as it stands now, surgery is what i'm interested in and what I intend to pursue, thus I enjoy exploring those interests in my own free time. Whether its seeking justification for my interests, or simply learning more about the thing that interests me *shrugs*

    (And I meant that my learning objectives in undertaking a shadowing/elective in a particular specialty are the same whether I'm in 1st or 3rd year because the main objective is always going to be to learn more about that specialty itself)

    Anyway thanks for the advice and reply!
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    Really think people running all of the hostile "oh you're too keen stop it! what are you doing! that's stupid! you're an idiot!" need to back off a little bit. If he wants to do some shadowing in first year, exactly how does that effect you in any way? Indeed, Newcastle has an official scheme that encourages periods of shadowing through a central database during pre-clinical years. If the OP likes surgery and wants to see a little bit more, how exactly is it a bad idea to see a little bit more? Is it just because you weren't as keen in first year and are feeling a bit jealous?

    It's absolutely astounding that you'd try and nip this kind of behaviour in the bud. What's the worst that could happen, he does it, doesn't enjoy it, so changes his mind. That's a successful period of shadowing just as much as "oh my god this is amazing!" As for people saying the whole "oh it won't count on your CV it's worthless" - it's not all about a CV in life... Really surprised at what people have said in this thread.

    OP: The secretary is probably just used to people making contact for medical electives and thinks that any period where a student comes in is an 'elective'. It might be worth emailing the surgeon directly and just letting him know that you're a first year wanting to shadow rather than an elective elective student in case he gets confused (and you get embarrassed), and mention you've already arranged with his secretary but you're just making contact with him to explain. His email will probably be on the university or Trust website.
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    (Original post by Beska)
    Really think people running all of the hostile "oh you're too keen stop it! what are you doing! that's stupid! you're an idiot!" need to back off a little bit. If he wants to do some shadowing in first year, exactly how does that effect you in any way? Indeed, Newcastle has an official scheme that encourages periods of shadowing through a central database during pre-clinical years. If the OP likes surgery and wants to see a little bit more, how exactly is it a bad idea to see a little bit more? Is it just because you weren't as keen in first year and are feeling a bit jealous?

    It's absolutely astounding that you'd try and nip this kind of behaviour in the bud. What's the worst that could happen, he does it, doesn't enjoy it, so changes his mind. That's a successful period of shadowing just as much as "oh my god this is amazing!" As for people saying the whole "oh it won't count on your CV it's worthless" - it's not all about a CV in life... Really surprised at what people have said in this thread.

    OP: The secretary is probably just used to people making contact for medical electives and thinks that any period where a student comes in is an 'elective'. It might be worth emailing the surgeon directly and just letting him know that you're a first year wanting to shadow rather than an elective elective student in case he gets confused (and you get embarrassed), and mention you've already arranged with his secretary but you're just making contact with him to explain. His email will probably be on the university or Trust website.
    Hi Beska, thank you so much for your wonderful reply, and for sticking up for me! Some of the other replies I'v gotten were really starting to get to me. I'm glad I'm not the only one who was bothered by the weird passive aggressiveness displayed in some of the previous replies.

    Thanks a lot for the helpful advice, I think you're right about the secretary mistaking it, i'll definitely send an email to the surgeon to prevent any confusion!
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    (Original post by Beska)
    Really think people running all of the hostile "oh you're too keen stop it! what are you doing! that's stupid! you're an idiot!" need to back off a little bit. If he wants to do some shadowing in first year, exactly how does that effect you in any way? Indeed, Newcastle has an official scheme that encourages periods of shadowing through a central database during pre-clinical years. If the OP likes surgery and wants to see a little bit more, how exactly is it a bad idea to see a little bit more? Is it just because you weren't as keen in first year and are feeling a bit jealous?

    It's absolutely astounding that you'd try and nip this kind of behaviour in the bud. What's the worst that could happen, he does it, doesn't enjoy it, so changes his mind. That's a successful period of shadowing just as much as "oh my god this is amazing!" As for people saying the whole "oh it won't count on your CV it's worthless" - it's not all about a CV in life... Really surprised at what people have said in this thread.

    OP: The secretary is probably just used to people making contact for medical electives and thinks that any period where a student comes in is an 'elective'. It might be worth emailing the surgeon directly and just letting him know that you're a first year wanting to shadow rather than an elective elective student in case he gets confused (and you get embarrassed), and mention you've already arranged with his secretary but you're just making contact with him to explain. His email will probably be on the university or Trust website.
    Is there anyone ever who is likely to think that?

    It's more a case of trying to stop him from getting to FY1 and realising he squanded his time in medical school and wasted his holidays. Come on mate, are you telling me that if you'd done a stint in surgery as a first year medical student - one who has done under four months of medicine no less - you'd be better prepared to do anything? It's the same vein as GEP vs undergrad; there are differences to start but not at the end. He's going to be in a pretty similar place as a collegue in 12-18 months from now apart from possibly closer to burn out having given up his holidays to stand around looking over a surgeons shoulder. Do you think somebody who did a months worth of surgery work experience would be better equipped at the end of even year 1, never mind year 3 or 4?

    I wouldn't tell a sixth from student to give up his entire Christmas holiday following a surgeon round all day, even though they have significiantly more to gain from it with an application to medicine. Despite having had plenty of early clinical contact in years 1/2, I still think it's a pretty pointless experience and I could have spent my time being far more productive.

    People can do what they like, but you shouldn't pretend that milling around on a ward round and staring at the floor in surgury after a couple of months of medicine is going to be approaching an efficient and worthwhile use of time.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Is there anyone ever who is likely to think that?

    It's more a case of trying to stop him from getting to FY1 and realising he squanded his time in medical school and wasted his holidays. Come on mate, are you telling me that if you'd done a stint in surgery as a first year medical student - one who has done under four months of medicine no less - you'd be better prepared to do anything? It's the same vein as GEP vs undergrad; there are differences to start but not at the end. He's going to be in a pretty similar place as a collegue in 12-18 months from now apart from possibly closer to burn out having given up his holidays to stand around looking over a surgeons shoulder. Do you think somebody who did a months worth of surgery work experience would be better equipped at the end of even year 1, never mind year 3 or 4?

    I wouldn't tell a sixth from student to give up his entire Christmas holiday following a surgeon round all day, even though they have significiantly more to gain from it with an application to medicine. Despite having had plenty of early clinical contact in years 1/2, I still think it's a pretty pointless experience and I could have spent my time being far more productive.

    People can do what they like, but you shouldn't pretend that milling around on a ward round and staring at the floor in surgury after a couple of months of medicine is going to be approaching an efficient and worthwhile use of time.
    I have absolutely no idea (to your first question) but the way everybody has been at this guy's throat is ridiculous.

    If this thread was about the OP wanting to find more about Greek literature, for example, nobody would care. Since it's wanting to find out more about a medical specialty and he's "only a first year" everybody is battering him down in some kind of weird par-for-the-course hierarchical way. It's not about "being more prepared to do anything", not everything has to have a certificate at the end, or a point for FPAS, or something to put on your CV. It has tangible benefit because he's interested in it, wants to see it and I bloody well think he should be able to spend time doing what he's interested in. I'm sure he's more than capable of deciding on his own how to spend his time. He was asking for some advice about nomenclature of 'medical elective' from people who have had their medical electives and have had experience of that kind of stuff. He wasn't asking us to choose his hobbies or decide what he should do in his spare time.

    For the record, I never did any pre-clinical shadowing and to be honest I don't think it's that worthwhile and I wouldn't have got much from it. But that doesn't mean I'm going to belittle somebody that wants to do it. In fact, I know people, a fair few people actually, that did some kind of pre-clinical experience and it ended up giving them "tangible rewards", papers and posters and audits (for people that think nothing is worth doing unless it gives you FPAS points), or contacts for future SSCs and generally just exploring medicine. If somebody wants to play football, play fifa, do a summer project, do some shadowing, go on holiday, it doesn't make a blind bit of difference and who knows, he might enjoy it.

    e: We encourage everyone to get work experience, really get involved in the medical field, have original and novel thoughts about what doctors do and they get a place at medical school and then as soon as that happens any kind of interest has to die and they have to sit still for the first two years of a biomed course until they're suitably senior enough to be 'allowed' to explore their interests? What a load of codswallop.
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    (Original post by RollerBall)
    Is there anyone ever who is likely to think that?

    It's more a case of trying to stop him from getting to FY1 and realising he squanded his time in medical school and wasted his holidays. Come on mate, are you telling me that if you'd done a stint in surgery as a first year medical student - one who has done under four months of medicine no less - you'd be better prepared to do anything? It's the same vein as GEP vs undergrad; there are differences to start but not at the end. He's going to be in a pretty similar place as a collegue in 12-18 months from now apart from possibly closer to burn out having given up his holidays to stand around looking over a surgeons shoulder. Do you think somebody who did a months worth of surgery work experience would be better equipped at the end of even year 1, never mind year 3 or 4?

    I wouldn't tell a sixth from student to give up his entire Christmas holiday following a surgeon round all day, even though they have significiantly more to gain from it with an application to medicine. Despite having had plenty of early clinical contact in years 1/2, I still think it's a pretty pointless experience and I could have spent my time being far more productive.

    People can do what they like, but you shouldn't pretend that milling around on a ward round and staring at the floor in surgury after a couple of months of medicine is going to be approaching an efficient and worthwhile use of time.
    Passive aggressive much? :eek3:

    From your comment you seem pretty bitter and give the impression that you feel threatened by someone else's efforts. If you feel your own clinical contact in years 1/2 were pointless and could have been more productive it's probably because you were to busy "staring at the floor in surgery and milling around on a ward rounds" as opposed to setting realistic and clear learning objectives for yourself and studying the relevant anatomy in depth beforehand. You wasted your own time. No need to get bitter at someone else you don't even know who might actually end up making valuable use of their time and having a productive experience. Nobody asked your opinion and your passive aggressive comments were uncalled for and condescending.

    It's all the more funny when you say "I wouldnt ask a sixth form student to give up his christmas holiday to follow a surgeon around all day" - was anybody asking you? If someone wants to spend their time doing something productive and something that they'll personally enjoy then that's good for them. I'd personally rather spend my time gaining clinical experience and learning as much as i can in a clinical setting during my winter holiday. It's just sad that you're so threatened by how someone else chooses to spend their time.

    This thread was created to ask a simple question: if anyone could explain the difference in elective vs shadowing and why the hospital listed it as an elective. Instead quite a few people have the idea that someone was asking for their opinion on how i choose to spend my time and have come here to feed their egos.
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    It sounds like you've already made up your mind and are just looking for people to tell you "go get 'em champ". This is a bit of a recurring theme with some of your posts. People are not being passive aggressive, but most of us are senior medical students and our experiences do count for something. Presumably that's why you've made this thread. If you're not going to take it on board, why ask?

    I would agree with the general consensus that it won't be a particularly effective use of your time. I would never fault your enthusiasm and indeed, in my first clinical year, I would regularly go down to A&E/MAU and clerk patients without being told (I want to go into EM, so I'm also keen on new experiences and getting stuck in).

    HOWEVER, this was only on days when I'd come in and there was nothing happening on my actual ward or teaching had been cancelled or something. There was no way in hell I'd go in during the holidays or the weekends or whatever to spend extra time in the ED like one of our gunners likes to do. That's mental - there's a time and a place for everything.

    I would also add that I was in clinical years so I'd already gained the necessary pre-clinical knowledge and skills in history taking and examination. It was also a good opportunity to practice doing bloods and cannulas - something no first year would ever be allowed to do. Neither would you be allowed to participate in the ward round, clerk patients, do the paperwork for the juniors or any of the other things which clinical students are encouraged to do on placement. So what are you getting from it?

    In summary, I don't see what you will gain from the placement, either from an educational perspective (how much cardiovascular anatomy/physiology/pharmacology etc will you really know after a term of pre-clinical medicine? Let alone the clinical stuff) or from a careers perspective. It won't do you any harm (apart from using up your time off) but neither will it give you a leg up a decade down the line when you're applying to surgical specialty training.
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    (Original post by insert-username)
    Passive aggressive much? :eek3:

    From your comment you seem pretty bitter and give the impression that you feel threatened by someone else's efforts. If you feel your own clinical contact in years 1/2 were pointless and could have been more productive it's probably because you were to busy staring at the floor in surgery and milling around on a ward round as opposed to setting realistic and clear learning objectives for yourself and studying the relevant anatomy in depth beforehand. You wasted your own time. boo hoo. No need to get bitter at someone else you don't even know who might actually end up making valuable use of their time and having a productive experience.
    It's all the more funny when you say "I wouldnt ask a sixth form student to give up his christmas holiday to follow a surgeon around all day" - was anybody asking you? your opinion is irrelevant. If someone wants to spend their time doing something productive and something that they'll personally enjoy then that's good for them. I'd personally rather spend my time gaining clinical experience and learning as much as i can in a clinical setting than refusing to give up my oh so valuable christmas holiday so that i can what? party and eat and sing christmas carols? It's just sad that you're so threatened by how someone else chooses to spend their time.

    This thread was created to ask a simple question: if anyone could explain the difference in elective vs shadowing and why the hospital listed it as an elective. Instead quite a few people have the idea that someone was asking for their opinion on how i choose to spend my time and have come here to feed their egos.
    its kind of funny.
    I don't think I'm the one who's having my ego threatened after this little outburst. Do what you like mate.

    Not sure why everyone is jumping to ad hominems of bitterness and jealosy, it's just a peice of advice from somebody who's been there - take it or leave it.
 
 
 
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