Welcome to another installment of my tips on doing well during your 3rd year rotations! Today we’re talking about medicine.
Disclaimer: I am talking from my experiences at my institution, mileage may vary where you are!
Medicine is an interesting rotation. People often say it’s medicine that really separates whether people do clinical medicine or surgery. I thought medicine was tough because it required me to learn about nearly every organ system. You can find yourself drowning in the amount you need to learn, so definitely make it a point to start studying in the beginning.
I think that the biggest tip I have for medicine is to really hone in on your assessment and plan. This is where you will shine in this rotation–medicine is all about differentials. So when you’re typing up your note, make sure to really focus and work hard on your A/P. Try to come up with at least 3-4 differentials. Make sure to talk about what supports and doesn’t support each differential. This is key to doing well. It shows everyone that you’re thinking about what is going on. Think about what you would need to order to help rule in or rule out your differential and state them! Don’t be afraid to be wrong.
Besides that, the other tip I have is to be proactive. If your patient is unable to talk to you, try getting a hold of a family member by phone. If their medication regimen is outdated, call their pharmacy. If you end up consulting other services for your patient, then make sure you’re looking out for their input!
Medicine is tough–but to me, it really had me thinking about differentials and the best way to manage my patients!