Lectures are finished, the boards are done, vacation is over, and third year of medical school has finally begun. This week is my first week of orientation, and I can already tell things will be different. For example, seeing my classmates in the hospital at 8am, decked out in white coats, is a far cry from last year, when I’d more likely encounter them in shorts or yoga pants, wandering to campus in the afternoon.
My first rotation is OB/GYN, and I’m definitely both excited and terrified for the experience to begin. In the meantime, I’ve been scrounging around for advice from residents, fellow students, and online to figure out how to prepare before rotations start. Here’s a short list of what I found:
An extra white coat: Chances are you’ll get your coat coated with some bodily fluid a few times during rotations, and you’ll probably want a spare instead of doing laundry all the time.
Comfortable shoes: Being on your feet for hours at a time can be exhausting and painful without proper footwear. Many physicians recommend Dansko clogs or something similar; though you won’t win any style points, they are comfy, durable, and spill-proof.
Books: The two most popular recommendations I’ve gotten are Pocket Medicine and Maxwell Quick medical reference. Other books to get are rotation specific and recommendations often vary.
White coat fillers: iPad mini (great for skimming patient records, looking up articles on UpToDate, or using MDCalc), white coat clipboard (for writing up patient notes and storing them), pens, notecards, energy bars.