Regardless of what you want to do, the 3rd and 4th years of medical school are important, but can also be difficult to excel in. Transitioning from classroom based learning to clinical in-hospital evaluation can be hard to adapt to. Here are some tips to help you get great evaluations in any clinical rotation.
- If you're on-time, you're late: This is very important. Your clinical team should never be waiting on you. Always plan on showing up at least 15 minutes early. If you end up having free time, use it to scan some high-yield notes on your current rotation, or help out the nursing staff. Never show up late, and--if you can help it--don't call in sick. Consistently being early is expected, plus you may end up getting some extra procedures by being the first student.
- Be useful: Always ask yourself; "What will we need?" Try to figure out the 'next step' your team will take. If you need a computer then go log in. If you need copies of your list then go make them. Never wait for direction, always try to think ahead and try have the 'next step' ready to go. Being useful will help decrease wasted time and increase the amount of time the attending and residents can spend teaching.
- No bad questions: Yes... there are bad and stupid questions. My golden rule? Never ask a question you can Google. If you want to ask good questions you need to pay attention to the discussion and patient presentation. A good rule of thumb is to ask more personalized questions; "How you you utilize the PERC rules in your daily practice?" or "I noticed you placed that patient on NS, when do you personally start contemplating LR vs NS?"
- Utilize your residents: Never ignore your residents. Even if they are not directly grading you, your ability to be useful and helpful to the residents will not only be noticed by the attending, but may also end up in you getting extra procedures and learning opportunities.