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Advice from a practicing anesthesiologist

As a 3rd year, keep it simple. You still have some time on your hands, more in your fourth year, and little to none in residency, although the 80h/wk limit will make things better than what I experienced.

Shirts: Cotton, white, blue, and perhaps two other colors. At least one week's worth. You'll be wearing the short, long-sleeved coat. This means ironing only the cuffs, collar, and front of the shirt.

Ties: Perhaps a half-dozen to mix with the shirts.

Pants: Three pair. Enough to rotate when one pair needs a wash in the middle of the week thanks to something you were too slow to dodge (a rare, but likely occurrence).

Shoes: Last item, but most important to your comfort, especially in residency. In the OR three types of shoes were worn by residents in decreasing order of frequency: Danskos, Birkenstocks or Birkies, and running shoes. On the wards I saw Birkenstocks/Danskos/Merrells more often than anything else. Dress shoes such as AEs were rare. Remember, you'll be spilling things on them, failing to dodge something, and walking on floors lubricated with fluids whose coefficient of friction is only slightly higher than liquid silicone on Teflon.

Lab Coats: Get at least two. They take the brunt of the wear, and are also excellent vectors for infection if not washed regularly.

Miscellaneous: I hope they're not still trying to make y'all buy the $500+ oto- ophthalmoscope sets that are always already available if you actually need them. Drop the Pocket Pharmacopeia and learn to use Epocrates on your favorite smartphone or Palm device. You *will* lose pens. Do NOT carry a nice one until you've held on to the same grubby Bic for at least a year.

Stain Removal: Blood - hydrogen peroxide and a toothbrush work wonders. Bile on a white shirt might be interesting. The rest is amenable to your favorite detergent.

Surgery: Find a paperback called Surgical Secrets. It has answers to the most common pimp questions, example of the common notes/orders, and basically everything you need to avoid pissing off your chief or the attending. H&Ps should be less than one side of a page.
Medicine: Probably has something similar. H&Ps should be no *less* than four sides of a page. Fleas...
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