U.S. medical students traditionally spend the first 3 years of training in a pre-determined curriculum. In their 4th year, however, students have significant flexibility in how they tailor their time. For this last year before residency, they shift from a learner-centered curriculum to a patient-centered curriculum. There is a shift in mentality from “I am here to learn as much as I can about medicine” to more of a “How do I best prepare myself for working in a hospital in my chosen specialty?”
As a medical student, do you remember your EM clerkship experience and whether you saw a wide variety of patient chief complaints? Did your fellow medical student on the EM clerkship rotation, who was going into Orthopedics, seem to only see patients with orthopedic complaints?
If only I had this flowchart when I was a first-year medical student! I too have always felt that emergency physicians have a little baseline crazy in them to be happy and successful in the specialty.
This diagram has been floating around the web for years now, and I wanted to share with you. It’s a humorous (partly because there’s some truth to it) decision tree on how to choose your medical specialty. Did you decide upon the right field?