2 down and a road trip!

So, I’ve finished two rotations of my core clerkship! Now, I don’t have the marks back yet, but I had my NBME for peds this past Friday and although it was still brutal, I did find it less terrible than surgery, which is something I suppose. And I had enough time to review this time as well; a trick I’ve learned is that you cannot spend any time checking the lab values unless the answer specially relies on the lab values.  Any thing else just means you don’t have enough time, and this way I was able to finish with 30 minutes and then review once over, which suited me much better.

Peds was an…interesting rotation, as MUN’s rotations go. Peds isn’t really one big rotation but 4 separate ones; Wards, Peds ER, Clinics and Neonates. Wards is where you are up on the floor, and spend one week with the ‘Blue team’ that deals with the infections and regular stuff (meningitis, gastro, failure to thrive, etc) and one week with the ‘Green team’ which sees the rarer stuff; cancer, psych, new diabetes patients.  I liked the wards; the residents were great, and the rhythm of the day was straight forward enough.

Peds ER is 8 eight hour shifts in the paediatric hospital ER, which I enjoyed a lot more than I thought I would (and a lot more than I like the adult ER). It was fast paced, largely straight forward, and a good variety of things.

Clinics was 2 weeks of 2 different clinics a day (cardio, ENT, othro, plastics, etc) and although the variety was nice, it really did depend on the preceptor you had.

Finally, there was neonates, which was two weeks on the floor doing newborn exams and discharges. I liked that a lot (and added 2 more babies to my total of ones seen 😉 ), though I can see it becoming very routine, as we really only did the two types of exams.

Call for clinics and wards was 1 in 4, and you were called to do ER consults, which was also enjoyable.  Call for Neonates was once a week, and you were called to do the neonatal resuscitation team on high risk delivers and c-sections.  ER had no call, because ER was basically call itself.

I went into Peds with very few expectations; I didn’t go in wanting to be a paediatrician, and I didn’t come out wanting to be a paediatrician, but I didn’t hate the rotation. I liked working with the kids, and I found out I am good with kids (at least in the medical context 😉 ). My favourite parts of the rotation were Neonates and ER, and although I can’t see myself doing them in the future, it was nice to have done them.

As for the road trip…


So, I drove to Gander today 🙂

Gander is about 330 km from St. John’s, and it took about 4 hours, which is the longest drive I’ve ever taken. The drive itself was happily boring; no moose, no blowing snow or wet roads. It’s a straight highway drive, and the highway crosses through the Terra Nova Provincial Park.

I found the drive tiring, but I’m tremendously proud of myself for completing it. I spent so much time with a hang up about driving, and so to be able to do this really feels like real personal growth.

Of course it meant I had to pack:


This is literally a suitcase just of fabric. This hobby is so out of hand 😉


Packed to the brim…half of it is sewing stuff 😉


New ‘Gander Coat’…hey, it was on sale and seriously, this is an amazing coat (Alpine) because it is COLD in Gander!

It works that, just because of the way that the rotation works, that I spend only 5 days here before I fly to Halifax to spend Christmas there with my family, and then come back for 7 more weeks which was something I was really not looking forward to before but honestly now think might be a great way to get a taste of this rotation and then have a break 🙂

I’d heard all of these horror stories about the apartment that the hospital has here in Gander (people who came and found no mattress, flooding, someone was followed into the building), but so far it’s been fine and I hope it stays that way for the rotation 🙂 I didn’t get a fitted sheet with the bedding they gave me, but I bought my own emergency sheets (and air mattress; horror stories and all that) and so I’m making it work until tomorrow when I’ go buy a decent set.

As for right now, I’m going to bunk down so I can start my new rotation, and finally start to get excited about going home for Christmas 🙂

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