Howard University: Experiences so Far

So I must admit that my first week at Howard started off really rocky. I think a major reason was that I was borderline depressed because 1) I missed my wife 2) was not looking forward to 2 more weeks of trying to impress people 3) felt like I was wasting my time rotating at a place for only 2 weeks that barely knew me. It didn’t help that my first 2 days with the Chairman here seemingly went terribly. The second day, I was in the OR with him for just one case, but 2 other residents were scrubbed  so all I could do was stand and observe.

Another thing that has kind of sucked so far is that there are like 4 other medical students on the service so it is almost impossible to get great facetime. Couple that with the fact that I am only here for 2 weeks and you can see how I started to feel like I wasted my time being here. Also, from what I have noticed, their overall operative volume “seems” low at the main hospital, so much so that this past Friday we only had 3 patients to round on! But from talking with the residents I found out that while it is true that they don’t operate as much at Howard, they only spend 3 months of each year at Howard. The rest of the time you are either at Providence Hospital, VA Hospital, Children’s Hospital of DC, or at the Washington Hospital Center. So you do get a good well-rounded experience and great operating time in those hospitals. Next week I actually switch over to Providence Hospital to see what the experience is like over there. The residents are the coolest thing about Howard…they are funny, laid back, smart, and just overall great folks. In the end, when you spend 5 years with someone you need to like them, and I don’t think I would have an issue with that at Howard at all.

After falling in love with Hopkins, its truly hard to even look at another program, even though I have to. I am honestly just ready to be done with these rotations. I feel like I am on empty in terms of energy and I am missing out on really important events in my wife’s pregnancy. I knew that it would be hard being away but this is pretty agonizing. So yeah, I’m looking forward to my last day of ortho as a medical student next Friday.

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