When I first started out 3rd-year, my pockets were STUFFED. I kid you not, my shoulders were hurting by the end of the day because I crammed so many things in my pockets that I thought I might need. Don’t laugh…but I even brought my otoscope. My school told us it was one of those tools we should bring to every rotation (insider tip…don’t). I will admit, I actually did have a patient on my second day who thought he had an ear infection…and there was no otoscope on the floor to be found. But that was the only time my otoscope came in handy the whole year. Outpatient settings will usually have them, and hospitals will have them around somewhere.
As third year went on, my white coat pockets kept getting lighter and lighter. So, I thought I would do a post about what is actually essential, and what your school will tell you to bring that will make you look like a big ‘ole nerd.
- Small note-pad
- Multiple pens (make sure at least one is black for writing scripts)
- A pen light
- Maybe a SMALL pocket guide
- Your phone fully charged with Up-To-Date downloaded
- And then each specialty will require different things, so keep that in mind
Maybe just leave at home…
- Your otoscope
- Giant books (that are labeled as ‘pocket-sized’)
- Reflex hammer (just use your stethoscope!)