I never thought there could be poor performing medical students on clinical rotations until I became a resident. That was a real shocker for me. The example stories you’ve been told of what NOT TO DO—guess what? Medical students still do them. That is always beyond me.
How? What? Why? Just some starter words for the questions I have. So, I thought I’d share some tips from a resident physician’s perspective—one who has had experiences with good apples and bad apples.
A Few Do’s
- Participate and take ownership of your patient.
- Help your residents with chart review and retrieving information.
- Respect your patients and quite frankly, everyone around you.
- Be personable and ask questions when appropriate!
- To sum it all up, ENGAGE!
A Few Don’ts
- Please do NOT ask when you can leave. Residents are really busy and tired, and I imagine they wish they could leave early too. There’s a professional way of asking such as “is there anything else I can help with?”
- Do NOT introduce your residents by their first name to patients. That is a major don’t. Remember, your resident is the physician taking care of the patient. It is extremely unprofessional.
- Do NOT tell the resident you have somewhere to be that is not academically related—such as a social lunch or dinner, and then ask if you can go. Again, there’s a professional way of asking such as “is now a good time to take a lunch break?” or “I have a mandatory lecture at 3 PM. May I step away for that?”
- Do NOT disrespect your patients or make inappropriate expressions while the patient is speaking. I see this over and over again on Psychiatry. It is not okay.
- Do NOT violate HIPAA. Just don’t or your resident will have to turn you in, and it likely won’t bode well for you.
This is not all-encompassing, but I just wanted to share a few tips from experiences I have had with medical students who have rotated through with me. For some, this may seem self-explanatory. For others, this may be a great time for reflection and practicing ways to improve.
Thoughts from a psychiatry resident physician,