Some of you may have heard the terms “clerkships” and “rotations” thrown around by medical students, but what does it all mean?
As third and fourth year medical students, all of the hard work we have put into studying is rewarded when we are given the opportunity to rotate through difference specialties and see patients in our town. Medical schools differ in how they set up their rotations for their students, but generally, there are a set of core rotations, rotations that every medical school in that institution must complete, along with electives. For our institution, family medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychology, general surgery, pediatrics, and internal medicine are core rotations. We are also given some weeks set aside for elective time, in addition to “time off,” where we can relax after all the long hours spent on rotations.
After each core rotation, which can be anywhere from 4 to 8 weeks, we take what are called “shelf exams.” These national examinations are given to all medical students completing that rotation and cover basic knowledge that students should have obtained after completing the rotation.
During these next few months, I plan to share my experiences with you all during the various rotations and share the resources I have used to do well on my examinations. I am really excited to share this aspect of my journey in medical school because, hopefully, it will help those looking for insight, as well as serve as memories that I can look back on once I am ready to choose a specialty.
Comment down below if you are starting your third-year rotations, and let me know what tips and tricks you have found helpful!