Day in the Life of a DOCTOR: Vlogging Infectious Diseases Rotation (ft. Q&A Memorization Tips)


Morning guys. I’m Siobhan, a first year medical resident. Currently I’m on an infectious diseases rotation. So these are the specialists that deal with every type of infection that you can imagine, anything from pneumonia to HIV or parasitic infections. So today I’m going to bring you to the hospital and give you a peek at what this specialty is like. Stick around to the end of this video and hear this week’s featured Q&A. I’ll be answering the question: How do you manage to memorize so much? So after getting to the hospital, I met up with the infectious diseases team. So that’s the other resident who’s on the team who is an R5 or PGY5. And that means that he’s been a doctor for five years and he’s in his last year of specializing as an infectious disease doctor, as well as my staff who’s the main one in charge. And we look at the 30 patients that we have to see today and divide up, you know, who’s gonna be going to see which patients. But first, the first thing I have to do is actually go and see a new consult in the emergency department and we’ve been told they have a really bad infection on their skin of their leg. And I’m suspecting it’s probably cellulitis, so we’ll see once I get down there and the idea is we’re going to look at the antibiotics to start and give them an idea of how long to keep going with those antibiotics. One thing that I really love about infectious diseases so far is that we’re always gonna go all over the hospital to see patients, because everyone gets infections. So we get to go to the orthopedic ward, like I’m going to right now, but also the medicine ward, the surgical ward, everywhere. That reminds me, ehm… One of you had asked me a question a while back saying: What is a ward? And I guess I say that a lot and I never really explained. It’s the same thing as a unit, same thing as a floor. It’s how we talk about parts of the hospital, so on one ward you’ll have a group of patients who have their rooms there, you’ll have a group of nurses who look after people there. So it’s a way of organizing things and usually it’s by specialty. So many stairs, it’s hard to walk up the stairs and talk at the same time, I’m getting out of breath. Here we go, up to the urology floor now, so infections to the kidneys or urinary tract infections, that’s where I come in. All right, so now I’m heading to surgical step-down. So basically these are patients who come out of surgery. I’m actually going to see a patient who’s had plastic surgery. Not the cosmetic type that you think, but when people have bad infections on their face or on their skin and they need to have skin taken from a different part of their body and placed in that area to replace it, so that’s where I’m heading now. So I just got my flu shot and you just have to allow me this one little soapbox moment. Basically before med school I used to always say ”Well, I never get the flu and why should I get the flu shot, because I never get sick.” And that’s when things change. In med school I realized that the flu shot, it’s not actually all about me. It’s actually about protecting other people, so it’s about protecting little newborns and it’s about protecting people who are on medications or who are immune compromised. So maybe people who are going through chemotherapy, it could be older people who don’t have the good immune systems anymore. Those are the people that if they get sick, they can end up in hospital. They can get really really sick, so it’s our job as a society to do what we can to protect them. So that’s my little plug, always talk to your docto,r always talk to a pharmacist to find out if there’s a reason you can’t get it. But if you can, I really suggest it. Alright, on to the next. Now I’m heading to the critical care unit, so these are patients who are often intubated, who are very sick and may have more than one infection going on even. Okay, and next I’m heading to the nephrology ward, so basically I’m going to see patients who’ve had kidney transplants, which puts them at a high risk for getting different types of infections that most of us don’t normally see or most of us don’t normally get. So doing that, I’ve got two patients there. And then I’m heading to meet the team and then review everything that I’ve done today. So alright, we just finished going around and seeing all the patients as a team. And it’s just quick, because we’ve seen them once already today. And we’re just going around with our staff to make sure everyone’s on the same page, we all agree with what we’re doing. And yeah… Now I just need to dictate a consult, the one that I did this morning, and just write a note on the computer basically and then I can get out of here. Finally got home and now it’s time to answer the featured question the day, which is: How do you manage to memorize so much? And I think the first thing is just to say there’s no one way to do this. There’s no one secret method. It’s about repetition, it’s about finding things that are useful for you, probably it’s going to end up being a combination of different strategies. Okay, so let’s get down to some practical tips. First I would say that cue cards are a huge asset when you’re trying to memorize things and just drill down specific concepts. So make your cue cards, try to find some way to have them on your phone so you can flip through them on regular basis. But if you’re looking to figure out big concepts and how they link together, which can be helpful to memorize, I would say get away from your computer, get away from your phone. Take out a piece of paper and start drawing out diagrams and once you’ve got in a diagram that makes sense to you, actually take a picture of it, put it into your notes and then refer back to it, because that image will then get stuck into your mind and be sort of a memory cue for you. Another great resource are things like question banks, often those are for purchase. I did ended up getting one in medical school called UWorld. Currently in residency I’m using one called MKSAP, but really it can do whatever you find useful and it’s just a way to see what you know and what you don’t know. Then when you feel like you’ve got things down pat, try actually teaching it to someone. It’ll show you where you’re missing concepts, maybe a term that you don’t remember when you’re actually saying it out loud. And if there’s no one around, just like talk out loud. You don’t have to be actually presenting it to a particular person or actually teaching a real person. Last thing, don’t worry if you’re forgetting things, because that is normal. It’s all about repetition. Don’t get disheartened, just keep practicing and those little connections in your brain are being made all the time. So those are the main strategies that I use, I hope you find that helpful. Let me know in the comments below if you have any other strategies that you can suggest or that you find really helpful. And comment below if you have any questions that you want answered next week as a featured question. Don’t forget to subscribe if you haven’t already and I will chat with you guys really soon. So bye for now.

100 thoughts on “Day in the Life of a DOCTOR: Vlogging Infectious Diseases Rotation (ft. Q&A Memorization Tips)

  1. for anyone who wants to use cue cards or notecards but doesn’t want to carry them around, use the quizlet app

  2. amen on that flu shot rant ! as someone with an autoimmune disease i'm glad you're spreading awareness regarding it as when I get sick its absolutely horrible and usually en up in hospital

  3. Yes girl. About the flu shot. The same with any other vaccines. My mom didn’t give me the flu shot when i was younger. My first was when I was volunteering at a hospital I believe. I was in college so able to make decisions on my own. My last office didn’t make us get them but I did. First because of my crohns and my medicine. If I get the flu I could be really sick. Second for the other people. That’s the same thing with vaccines. People don’t understand that if enough people don’t get them.. here is not herd immunity anymore and people who can’t get the shots say mmr or vzv because they are live.. they could get sick

  4. I love to use the information I'm trying to remember in a story so that I can understand it better and then remember it! I also use acronyms or silly songs!

  5. I love you so much but I wish the videos were longer because that way I could binge watch more longer videos. Because I’m a freshman in high school and I have always wanted to be a doctor and these videos are so freaking helpful! Love you so much!!

  6. I'm a little late on the video, but is there a difference between critical care and intensive care, or are they the same?

  7. When I was 1 a dog bite and I needed plastic surgery and I was bullied people called me “Botox lady” and I was hurt! Do you have any suggestions to deal with it

  8. Hi, I don't like going to see a doctor much, but I've been suffering with tonsil stones for about 4 months, I remove them at home, just for them to come back a week later. Should I go to a doctor? Or not bother? I've heard that doctors don't do much for them. Thanks so much 😊

  9. Hi Siobhan!!
    I was wondering what type of doctor you are? Such as Trauma or ER? Or are you a surgeon lol? I’m not totally educated on the medical field but my dream has always been to work in that field! :))

  10. So I never get my flu shot. I was born with an immunodeficiency disorder so I have a pretty low white blood cell count and my body can't fight off infections and illnesses very well. I get sick all the time, and I have to be home schooled because of the germs at public schools. When I get the flu shot, I always get the flu right after. The doctor thinks it is because of my disorder, but she just doesn't recommend I get it. Would it make sense that my disorder causes the illness to occur after I get the shot, or do you think it may be something different?

  11. I don’t know the doctor side but I know the patient side of severe pneumonia and man it’s nice when you’ve got kind doctors and nurses. Being sick with it sucks south

  12. as a nurse I think ur videos are amazing lol the one negative of working in infectious diseases or OR is def wearing a mask there goes all my makeup ya know lol

  13. How do you avoid bringing any harmful germs home from the hospital? I have another question I’ve always been too nervous to ask doctors I have shadowed. Do you wash your hair every time you go to the hospital. I know it’s not good to wash your hair everyday in general, but what if while at the hospital you get something in your hair, especially while in the infectious disease ward. Thank you!

  14. Hi! I'm not a doctor and I don't even plan to be one but I am one of your subscribers bcos I LOVE your positivity when you are working! 💙💙💙

  15. I was in a nursing home for 8 months and required intermittent catheterization. Well, I ended up with a resistant bladder infection that was starting to spread. It was improperly treated and I ended up seeing an infectious diseases doctor. They saved my life.

  16. I know it's a year too late to comment but I am slowing catching up on your videos! They're so helpful and informative which is nice to have you vlog from this point of view as a resident. It's a funny story because I had cellulitis in the emergency department but initially before I sent to the hospital as per the doctor's orders I could have gone to the urgent care since the only thing I needed was iv fluids and antibiotics so this video really related to me! Also, keep the good work with the vlogss!

  17. I would LOVE to get in contact with you to discuss some questions I have about specialization. You’re fabulous! Keep it up!

  18. Enjoyed your video, re: flu shot, I've been lucky to never get the flu. My question is this. Isn't the flu shot just some dead flu germs injected into a person to help build up immunity?

  19. I’m currently doing my internship in India and I’m a dentist and I have applied for a PR in Canada . How should I apply to med school and I’ve started my pre requisites and I’m dedicating 6 months to study for mcat . Please guide me I have no clue how to start

  20. I was treated on my city's central infectious diseases ward last week for my Lyme disease, I was put up there simply because that's where the specialists are based, the man in the room next to me had to have masked staff which made me feel so vulnerable as I obviously wasn't infectious in a ward full of dangerously sick people

  21. Computer programmers have a sort of trope of explaining their code to a rubber duck on their desk if they can't get it to work because explaining it reveals the error that's causing it not to work. Teaching a concept is such a powerful learning tool!

  22. Im a new subscriber from finland and loving your videos! Do u have a specific shift schedule or is it just different every week?

  23. oh my goodness; i didn’t even consider that factor when it comes to flu shots. i feel like such a doof. i’m gonna do my best to promote them now !!

  24. I actually had flesh eating bacteria last year I had surgery in my left leg and almost lost my leg…It was crazy…And I was diagnosed with phenomena and tss and meningitis and more…But I’m doing great now.

  25. I had Immunocompromise when I was like 2 or 3 years old. My immune system was down for about 2 years I think it was. I had to get a port and it was either every other week or 4 weeks I forgot a nurse came to our house to give me medicine through my port to try and get my immune system back up and so I wouldn't get sick as much.

  26. I love your videos! I know I'm young but I really want to be a doctor when I grow up! Your tips and tricks always help me in school to! One thing I always do is practicing with other people. We do something called a clicker quiz which is just answering questions on a little device. Thank you for inspiring me!

  27. I find your videos so soothing to listen to. You’re so well spoken and just a positive energy. I find it very fascinating watching the hard work doctors do on a daily basis.

  28. 3:38 No one ever told me that. I wish all doctors were as open to explaining because if it was described to me like that I probably would have done it back when it was readily available at work.
    Also she was wearing one of those yellow suits in the thumbnail, What are those for? I had to wear one once and a lot of the nurses walked in without one or with one on but basically falling off of them. Didn't seem to do much.

  29. Almost everyone I know who has gotten a flu shot has gotten very sick from it. My dad got one and got sick, so did my Grandma. And a friend of my mom's who is a nurse and they make her get one every year and she gets very sick from it

  30. Just come across your youtube channel!! very interesting , definitley subscribed. It seems so different hospitals in America. Im the UK. I work for the NHS ( hospital too) only doing patient pathway but it's so different in america ! your so intelligent and inspiring 🙂

  31. I was just studying hygiene and Infectious diseases for my Paramedic-exam and this video showed up in my recommendations😂

  32. You have inspired me to be a doctor. I am currently in high school, and I would love some advice and maybe help choosing a medical school

  33. My horse had cellulitis. It was horrible. Though she broke her leg in her stall somehow. Triple the normal size, loads of antibiotics and wraps for weeks.

  34. I have struggled for the longest time with feeling like me heart right in the middle of my chest feels like it’s squeezing. It happens and hurts at only particular times a day. Sometimes it’s hard for me to swallow because of it. I have had thyroid checked but it shows normal so I do not think it is that. Just a question, what do you think I should do? I’m frustrated at this point

  35. I had a feeling you might mention transplants.I had a kidney transplant & I have to say cellulitis is extremely painful,I had that once & am a frequent patient of gout(thee worst )!!

  36. My daughter (14 months) has to go see an infectious disease specialist. Her appt is next week and I’m so nervous. Just trying to learn more about this specialty.

  37. Don’t know whether I wanna be a doctor or an astrophysicist….guess I have time to decide though since I’m in high school

  38. I really love your videos and your energy! I just graduated Cosmetology school (I know, not anywhere near medical school) but you’re advice on remembering things has really helped me. Specifically when I am trying to explain things to my clients or other students. So thank you Siobhan for helping people so much and spreading your knowledge!

  39. I'm a premed student. junior at LSU. just out of curiosity, is hospital life really chill (socially), or do doctors keep to themselves.

  40. I got compartment syndrome in my right arm and almost had to get a skin graft luckily I didn’t but holy cow is my scare gnarly

  41. Most of your videos seems fake. I am not sure sometimes when you get paged, there is an actual emergency or someone is just paging you for your videos. Try to include some realistic footage in video.

  42. My study method is to have the key words for like the chapter you’ve read through written down and then just write out everything in a diagram with pencil and then read through the chapter and add the things you missed with a blue pen. The I like to quiz and get quizzed by another student and get asked to explain that concept or this key word. And just teaching it to others really help too.

  43. infectious disease had to get involved with me the summer of my senior year of high school to figure out what was causing me to have diarrhea everyday for almost 2 years in febuary sorry not great at spelling long story short the never figured out whats causing it and i"ve been told they may never figure it out

  44. Seems so cool. I can tell that being an ID involves a lot of collaboration with other doctors. I think I want to specialize in Infectious Diseases, I've always loved learning about bacteria and viruses.

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