Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Why does everything SUCK SO HARD today?

I'm trying to finish up my M4 schedule to turn in, but Northwestern uses this stupid online system to schedule your clinical rotations and it is just about the dumbest computer program ever written.

So it's not just like scheduling classes was in college, where you schedule a class if a slot was open, and if not, you move on to your alternatives. I guess they're trying to be as fair as possible, so everyone has to turn in their schedule at the same time, and then at midnight, the computer randomizes everyone in the class into a specific order and goes down the list trying to match everyone into their highest priority rotation. It then re-randomizes the class list and then goes down the list again, this time for your 2nd highest priority rotation.

What this amounts to is that, in order to schedule about 8 rotations, you have to make a list of about 500 possibilities and rank them in order of priority. For example, my highest priority rotation is Gyn Onc, and I want that in the Summer 2 slot. It's not a hot rotation or anything, but only 1 student is on at a time. I want that slot because I need to schedule around an MPH class I need to take over the summer, and I also want to get my letter of recommendation from one of the attendings. So I rank Gyn Onc for Summer 2 #1. BUT, if it just so happens that some bastard before me already took that spot, I have to rank Gyn Onc for Summer THREE or Fall 1 #2. And so on and so forth. So you have to plan your schedule in all these various orders, and then put "exclusion letters" by all of them, so the computer knows that once it's scheduled, for instance, one of your "A" rotations, it'll cancel out all the other A rotations.

The other thing is, there are several required rotations (ER, MICU, sub-I etc) and if you don't squeeze them all in someplace you won't graduate.

You'd think this would be easy because I had to schedule all these rotations last year before I knew I'd be spending the year doing research in Iowa, but the truth is Maria had to come over and do it for me because I was on some stressful busy rotation and couldn't figure out the stupid computer program. And then I still forgot to put all the exclusion letters in and I ended up with 2 sub-Is.

On top of that, now the server keeps crashing. Charming. Grace summed up the situation quite nicely last night. "Eeeuuuiiiiiiigggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."

Sorry. That was long and boring and probably didn't make any sense but I needed to vent. And I have to have abstract + article done by Thursday!! Eek. :(

In other news, the hospital cafeteria started serving fresh sushi at lunch. V. good.


Khakra said...

other than being a dumbass, scheduling the rotations is one reason why i didnt go into med school. hope you've snapped the funk.

Anonymous said...

wow ive been reading your blog since like january (came in on a comments link thru theunderweardrawer) and i just realized that we go to the same med school...

square peg said...

k: aw, thanks. I'm trying. And WHO'S the dumbass? Do you read my blog? All of your posts are way over my head.

anon: Best. Comment. EVER. Don't tell the deans.

Kim said...


Pretty much describes my first year thus far. Brilliant sentiment indeed.

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