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Hey all,

I'm trying to decide between doing an ICU elective at VGH (title of this thread should read ICU not CTU for UBC!!) in Vancouver versus a GiM elective in Calgary. Has anyone done an elective in these specialties at either of those schools? Any particular reasons I should choose one over the other ?

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I did an ICU elective at the VGH. Although it was great to do procedures like central lines and art lines, I found that the level of knowledge was too far above a medical student's level. It is definitely a hard place to impress and I would recommend against it if you are looking for a letter. PM me if you have any questions.

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ICU is great for learning purposes, but since this is an elective and I assume you would want reference letters, then ICU is not a good idea.

 

Clerks tend to have more opportunity to shine in the CTU. Also, there's a lot of scut work in the CTU. Even though people hate it, your willingness to shoulder scut work will not go unnoticed and will be reflected in your letters.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I think it all depends on what type of ICU you're going to be at, how much you prepare beforehand, and how many other learners (ie residents and fellows) will be there.

 

I did an ICU rotation as a medical student and it was a great rotation and I got a great letter out of it. It was just the staff, the fellow and myself most days as the surgical residents had to write their POS exam. I got to do lots of procedures and learn a ton. It helps that I had an interest in critical care, and read up tons before the rotation.

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  • 1 month later...

I think it all depends on what type of ICU you're going to be at, how much you prepare beforehand, and how many other learners (ie residents and fellows) will be there.

 

I did an ICU rotation as a medical student and it was a great rotation and I got a great letter out of it. It was just the staff, the fellow and myself most days as the surgical residents had to write their POS exam. I got to do lots of procedures and learn a ton. It helps that I had an interest in critical care, and read up tons before the rotation.

 

Hey medaholic,

 

First off just wanted to say thanks for the excellent website - I've been a long time follower. I have an ICU rotation coming up for my 4th year, I was wondering if you could give any examples of great resources for ICU rotation prep!

 

Thanks!

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For online resources, ccmtutorials.com is excellent.

The ICU Book by Marino has a very good physiology section in the beginning, the later chapters are largely out of date (as with any textbook). Cardiac and respiratory physiology are key topics in ICU.

Sepsis and ARDS are the key syndromes to read about for ICU.

See if you can develop a clinical approach to shock states, particularly sepsis, and read up on Early Goal Directed Therapy (Rivers paper in NEJM).

Also read up on ARDS, particularly the low tidal ventilation ARDSnet trial, 

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