6 Tips for Medical Students Starting as They Begin Clinical Rotations
Clinical rotations are an integral part of a medical student’s journey. They indicate the transition into the practical, hands-on stage of their career that follows years of theoretical study. However, clinical rotations are known for being physically and mentally overwhelming.
However, if done right, your medical school rotations can be one of the best aspects of your MD journey. They provide a much more practical learning experience and give you the opportunity to communicate and interact with real-life patients.
Here are some handy tips that can help you thrive during your clinical rotations.
1. Be friendly with the support staff
Patient healthcare is a team effort, and the support staff like nurses and patient care assistants are just as important as doctors. In fact, these staff usually have years of experience in dealing with patients in a supportive role.
Therefore, you should start your rotations on the right foot by working as a team with the support staff. You can learn a lot from their experience, and a good word might even reach the resident you are training under.
2. Have heart-to-heart interactions with 4th year seniors
Having good relations with 4th year medical students is vital for your preparation for clinical rotations. These students have already completed their core rotations and can give the right advice to those beginning their rotations.
Very often, the most challenging part of clinical rotations is ascertaining what is expected of you. Fourth year medical students can give you detailed insights into how you should interact with residents, attending physicians, and other hospital staff.
3. Work on the relevant skills you need to master ahead of your rotations
While clinical rotations for medical students can teach you many practical skills, it can be advantageous to practice the skills you already have. Focus on having a solid foundation of the medical theory, which can help you grasp the practical aspects quite easily.
You can also boost your preparation through active participation in your theory classes and attending clinical workshops. The more you know going into your rotations, the easier it will be to pick up patient care practicalities.
4. Keep an open mind for subjects you aren’t interested in
Clinical rotations give you a feel for different medical specialties, which can help you choose your residency. However, you should remain open to exploring subjects that aren’t exactly your favorite.
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Saba has extensive partnerships with ACGME-approved teaching hospitals in the US and university-affiliated hospitals in Canada. This allows the school to send their students to these hospitals for their core clinical rotations.
Saba has also partnered with prestigious US hospitals to allow their students to pursue their elective rotations in the country.
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Learn more about the MD program at Saba University School of Medicine.
For example, if you are an aspiring psychiatrist, it may be difficult to be excited about your cardiology rotation. However, it is important to remember that you might have to care for patients in the future whose illnesses aren’t confined to a single discipline. A comprehensive understanding of all areas of medicine can help you become a better physician.
5. Have a notebook handy at all times
You will come across different kinds of patients with different personality types and diseases during your rotations. Therefore, each clinical interaction has the potential to teach you something new.
Having a small notebook and pen handy can help you record new information and retain it more easily. It can also be the best way to take notes in medical school. These notes can include details of a new case, questions to ask the residents or a novel medical condition you haven’t encountered before.
6. Remember to take a break from your work
Med school rotations can be exciting as you interact with real-life patients for the first time. Make the most of them by taking an interest in whatever task you have at hand. This can keep you sane during stressful periods and keep you from being overwhelmed.
You must also remember to take a break from your rotations and spend time with your friends and family. Figuring out how to navigate the work-life balance in your rotations will serve you well during your residency.
Doing your clinical rotations at a reputable hospital in the USA will provide you with an excellent experience and the very best exposure to top medical practices. Invest in a good MD program that has partnerships with teaching hospitals in the USA.