One thing that I always reflect on in every rotation is the potential impact that a medical student has on someone’s health. Typically, the med student will go in and talk to the patient, do the history and physical and have a little discussion with the patient about what is going on. Then you will go present to your doctor and the two of you will go in together. A lot of the times the patients will ask you questions during your initial interview. The tricky part is, how do you answer? If they ask you for medical advice, you can use a combination of what you have learned in med school thus far combined with how your preceptor has answered these questions with prior patients you have seen. But at the end of the day, you’re not a doctor yet.
This concept is really weird to think about. Because on your last rotation of medical school, you still have the medical school title. Then a few days later, you are all of a sudden a doctor. So at what point is the medical advice you give actually credible advice? I definitely think it is a sliding and gradual change. But officially, your advice is only credible once you have those two letters after your name.
On the other hand: once you do officially graduate and become a doctor… your advice is credible. But your training is not done. People assume everything you tell them is sound medical advice when the reality is that you just graduated from med school a week ago.