In medical education, a clerkship, or rotation, refers to the practice of medicine by medical students  during their final year(s) of study. Clinical rotations during medical school may vary depending on the school you attend. Usually, rotations start the third year of medical school and are held at medical centers affiliated with the medical school. Typical rotations during the third year include family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, surgery, psychiatry and internal medicine.

During your fourth year of clinical rotations, you may also have an anesthesiology, radiology, neurology and emergency medicine rotation.  Keep in mind that the exact rotations offered may vary by school. The length of time each rotations lasts also varies. Some rotations may be 12 weeks while other may be six.

Rotations are classified as either core or elective. The core rotations are the ones you are required to take. The bright side is you can choose your elective rotations.

Clinical rotations is an integral part of  medical school training. Clinical rotations allow you to strengthen your critical thinking skills and learn how to perform various procedures. Clinical rotations gives you an  opportunity to put your medical knowledge to practical use, you also get the chance to develop your bedside manner.

In order to increase your chances of having a positive experience during your clinical rotation , we have included here certain points.

Work on your time management

If you want a quick way to make your supervising resident mad, show up late. Medical students should treat their clinical rotations as a job. It is essential to arrive on time or early and make sure you are well prepared. During rounds, you may be asked questions. If you do not know the answers to questions from the attending, it appears your resident is not doing a good job teaching. It is a reflection on your teaching resident. If you look good, they look good.

Get communication skills right
If you don’t understand something your resident told you to do, get clarification. The worst thing you can do is assume something, which gets you and your resident into trouble. Keep in mind, not everyone has strong communication skills, which can easily lead to misunderstandings.

Be smart in appearance and conduct
You don’t have to be upbeat every second, but you should show your resident you are enthusiastic about becoming a doctor, Look at everything as a learning opportunity. Not every experience will be fascinating, and some may even be uninteresting. But in most cases, there is something that can be learned from the situation.

Take Initiative
There are times early on in your clinical rotations that you may not know what is expected from you. But as you become more familiar with a particular rotation, you should have a better idea of what you need to do. Taking initiative is a quality a doctor needs. Residents usually like to see their students step it up and get things accomplished. Although there may be times when you need to wait for direction, there are also many opportunities to take the initiative.

Understanding your Resident
Residents work hard. You probably work hard in medical school, but residents have more responsibilities and usually put in more hours. Doing things that make your supervising resident’s life easier can score you points. Although you don’t need to be your resident’s personal assistant, doing some of their mundane tasks can be helpful. For example, some tasks may fall onto residents, such as writing care plans, call pharmacies and scheduling appointments. Ask if you can help out.

Some residents will be great people and great teachers, others not so much. If possible, get to know your resident a little by listening to them. Some residents will be a bit distant while others may be personable and friendly. Follow their lead. If your teaching resident is all business, don’t make a lot of small talk.

Share patient observation
It is your resident’s responsibility to make sure they know what is going on with their patients. But there may be instances where you find something out first. For example, if you determine a patient has a critical lab values, make sure the resident who is supervising is alerted.

You are being evaluated
As a medical student, you are evaluated in everything you do. Your interactions with your resident are not the only thing that gets you noticed. How you interact and treat the patients, their families and other medical staff is observed. Treat everyone with respect and you should not have a problem.

Professional Approach
Stressful situations can lead to a stressful response. If you are in a high-stress situation, such as a resuscitation, nerves may lead people to snap at each other. Try to remember, most things that happen are because of the situation and are not about you.

Get reference that you want
If you plan to ask one of your supervising residents for a letter of recommendation for your residency, do it early. Residents likely will have to complete several evaluations and are asked for many letters. Get your letter before the resident is sick of writing positive comments.

Clinical rotation causes both excitement and fear in most medical students. Take it cool, it is part of the job.

Washington Medical Science Institute

Washington Medical Science Institute (WMSI) is an international Medical School, recognized and listed with ECFMG and World Health Organization.

WMSl is offering fully accredited formal medical programmes since 2010, WMSl also working with its partners and developed WMSl International Health Science Research Centres, the main objective of the WMSI IHSRC is to deliver American standard locally accredited programs through its centres in different countries.

WMSI offers quality Dual Degree Programs in

B.S-MD (Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences – Doctor of Medicine )
B.S-M.D/M.P.H (Bachelor in Biomedical Sciences – Doctor of Medicine / Masters in Public Health)
M.D / M.P.H (Doctor of Medicine / Masters in Public Health)
Post MD/M.P.H (Post – Doctor of Medicine / Masters in Public Health)

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