It completely boggles my mind that I have roughly four months until I graduate! I recently completed all of my audition rotations and have several interviews left before I submit my residency rank list. So, where exactly does that leave me now? Isn’t this the time when fourth years experience “senioritis” and do “easy” rotations?
Yes and no. When I started my clinical years, I had the opportunity to talk to several fourth-year medical students who completed their audition rotations and planned on coasting through rotations until graduation. Many people argue that this is the prime time to relax before residency and enjoy as much time off on these rotations. These rotations typically include the ROAD specialties (but not limited to these): radiology, ophthalmology, anesthesia, and dermatology. These specialties are known for having easier work days as a medical student, which is why many students choose to finish their fourth year with them.
I have to admit, I was looking forward to planning rotations that were either “easy” or that I really enjoyed until I realized that my school requires many mandatory rotations such as family medicine, internal medicine, surgery, and pediatrics. This leaves the rest of my fourth-year schedule to be quite…full. At first, I was somewhat bummed but I actually think it’s a blessing in disguise.
Currently, I’m in a four-week infectious disease rotation and even though I realized early in third-year that internal medicine was not my forte, I have learned so much that can be directed towards the field of medicine I want to be in. I also noticed that when I let my attending/residents know which specialty I intend on going into, they were very willing to teach towards that specialty. That made for a more enjoyable rotation. For me, I have to keep telling myself that I am paying for my education and I get to choose how much I want to learn during this time. This will be the only time in my life where I get to learn without having to worry about an exam and be completely independent on what topics I want to learn. Despite my initial disappointment with scheduling rotations, I am looking forward to learning about other specialties and how they relate to the one I love!