As medical students rotating in clinics, there are times when the day is slow. Sometimes a whole slew of patients decide not to show up, or there aren’t many patients to see that day. Time seems to slow down. Whatever the reason, we’ve all had the chief resident or attending look at us and say, “Just go home.”
You’d think that the next step is easy. JUST LEAVE! Unfortunately, a number of thoughts run through our minds. The first thought: is this a test? If I actually make the conscious decision to walk out that door, will they think less of me? If they think less of me, will this translate to a lower overall clinical grade? So maybe instead of leaving, I should just say that I have no problem waiting for another hour. However, if I do say that, will they think I’m trying too hard? See? This decision is harder than it originally seems!
To be honest, I definitely struggled with those thoughts during my first rotation. Obviously, when you’re new, you have no idea what the expectations are and you’re just trying to figure everything out. You want to be as enthusiastic and as involved as you possibly can. As I’ve done more and more rotations, that initial hesitation has disappeared. If an attending says to go home, I’m going home. As one resident told me, you’re going to be worked to death as a resident so if and when someone tells you to go home–GO HOME!