As you may know, third and fourth-year are spent at various hospitals and clinics where students rotate with specialties such as general surgery, family medicine, or psychology to learn about various specialties. It can be an amazing learning opportunity but one of the most common questions my classmates and I had first and second-year was, “What is the key to success?”
- Come with a good attitude: Yes, a cup of coffee can do wonders for those early mornings, but adding a smile to that can work wonders. Having a positive attitude not only makes you more approachable (which means that attendings or residents are more likely to tell you about that interesting case), but also leaves a memorable impression on the people you are working with.
- Learn and teach back: After each day, ask your resident or attending what topics they think you should read up on. Go home, make a quick flashcard, and come back ready the next day to teach it back during an appropriate time. Not only will you be more likely to remember what you taught, but your team will be very impressed that you took that initiative.
- Treat everyone with respect: From the receptionist to the office staff, everyone will remember you or of you. If you are cordial with the nurses or medical assistants they are more likely to help you out TREMENDOUSLY during your rotation and even remain your close friends once you are done.
These are my favorite pieces of advice that I have received and implemented during my own rotations. But I have only completed one rotation so far and I am sure that I will pick up more tips and tricks along the way. For those of you seasoned medical students, what have you found helpful in succeeding during clinical rotations? Comment down below!