Recently, we began choosing our rotations for the upcoming third year clerkships. The first step to choosing rotations at UCLA is picking a continuity. The continuity is incorporated into our third year to help us become comfortable at a specific hospital. We will get to know the staff and system a little better because we are there for a longer period of time. In the UCLA system, there are over 8 hospitals you can travel to for your rotations. That means each rotation could be at a new hospital. The continuity guarantees you willl stay at a specific hospital for up to 20 weeks. Along with choosing your continuity comes the bonus of choosing your rotation order. Now that does’t mean choosing where you will be rotating during the rotations not included in your conituinity, but only the order of these rotations. This has lead to several schools of thought when picking their rotation order. Let me explain.
The third year is not a sprint, it is a marathon, but there are breaks here and there so it may be beneficial to be strategic in ordering your rotations. Everyone wants to do well in all their rotations, but there are particular rotations students want to perform exceptionally well so they can prove to their future residency that they can excel in a particular field. Some wish to place their most important rotation first, they will be fresh and full of energy, ready to attack any challenge that comes their way. Mentors say the first rotations have lower expectations because you may not know what you are doing. They may be more lax with their grading for the same reason. I, on the other hand, hope to place my most important rotation after winter break. I should be somewhat recharged after having two full weeks off. I will also have a full semester of third year under my belt so I will be more confident in my patient-care abilities. At UCLA, we will be planning to apply to residencies during our second to last rotation. So I placed a rotation I feel would not interest me in the last position.
Though my schedule is not finalized, I have chosen to begin with an internal medicine rotation. This rotation will be arduous but very informative. After winter break, I will start the surgery rotation, another tough rotation but one that is very important to me because I think my future may contain surgery or emergency medicine, which is an elective within the surgery rotation. I will then end with an Ob/Gyn rotation. Though I am excited to deliver babies, Ob/Gyn may not be the specialty for me. Though I am open to anything. Third year will be a great year.