Radiology rotations at my school were known for being extremely laid-back. With that in mind, most students at my school took a radiology elective at some point during their senior year.
Not to pass up on the good times (who really wants to be doing a SICU rotation instead of a radiology elective, anyway?), I promptly scheduled myself for a general radiology rotation about midway through my fourth year. Here was my schedule:
Day 1: Hung out with residents and got a read of just how much I could get away with.
Monday-Friday: Came into the hospital around 10:00 am, signed a paper to validate that I was present, left the hospital at 10:15 am and went back home.
Repeat for four weeks.
Seriously, that was my rotation.
Am I competent to read films? Nope.
Do I care? Not at all.
I had no plans to even practice medicine, much less read a damn radiology study. I thought “why not make the most of this rotation?” And that’s exactly what I did.
How You Can Get Away With More Than You Think
I was supposed to be hanging out with the radiology residents from around 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. That’s what the other students did, anyway. What most students don’t realize is that you can get away with far more than you think you can on rotations. Of course, it’s rotation-specific. For example, I couldn’t have done this on Surgery or IM. You have to just read the residents.
I saw on day one that there were quite a few students rotating with me and that the residents and attendings weren’t keeping detailed logs of attendance. The only attendance log was one that stayed up for the entire week that I signed myself. That’s an early Christmas present for you because it essentially means that nobody really knows who you are or where you’re supposed to be. This was all I really needed in order to pull the schedule out of my ass for the month.
For evaluations, I simply picked a few random residents that were on the service. They didn’t know who I was anyway, so they just filled out the evaluation and gave me pretty good comments.
My final grade on the rotation: A
The key is to simply keep your ear to the ground always looking for opportunities to exploit. Just like in business, you need to find market inefficiencies and then take advantage of those inefficiencies in order to create a profit.
Do You Have Any “Slacker” Stories?
It’d be cool to hear about any slacker stories that you guys may have while on rotations. Perhaps you “beat the system” and got a little payback for the long hours and abuse you had to put up with during your third year. If so, I’d love to hear about it.