Our medical student is amazing. I think he was academically abused in the not-too-distant past, and responded by studying insanely, so that his grasp of basic science is unassailable. For some reason which I have already become too cynical to grasp, he is wildly enthusiastic about this whole med-student/surgery rotation deal, and simply begs for scut to help us with. (I used to be pretty enthusiastic, but this guy is out of even my league.) He sees more patients than any other third year I’ve heard of, and he knows the patients. He may not know what the plan is with them, or what to do next, or which parts of their labs to be concerned about, but he knows all the facts.

The only thing that keeps him from being dangerous to me (the way that insanely bossy fourth year student was) is that he thinks things through too much. I’m afraid the attendings are having fun with this. They’ll ask him a relatively straightforward question (as pimp questions go), and he’ll start reciting a chapter from Robbins’ pathology, rather than giving the one-word classic answer that they’re looking for. It cracks the residents and me up; which is rather rude on our part, but he seems to be surviving. I asked him if he was sure he wants to do surgery, and his answer was, “Of course I do. What else is there?” Poor guy. But he’ll be good at it; he thrives on hard work and long hours. Even though some of his questions are ridiculous, none of us mind answering, because he obviously wants to learn and understand his patients. (Although it’s a little bit funny how he’ll ask me questions, to which my instinctive response is, That’s exactly what I was going to ask myself; but it helps me think things through, to be forced to give him a reasonable explanation, and not just, This is how we do things.)

The medical school at this hospital is tough, way harder than mine. Their expectations of their students are so high. I would much rather be an intern here, matched, all set, on track in spite of my poor preparation, than a student. They take overnight call with ridiculous frequency (considering that the residents don’t), have lecture with uncomfortably regularity, and have all kinds of requirements and oral tests to get through. They are going to be much better prepared (for a surgery residency at least) than I was; and I don’t miss their shoes.