If you are a fledging medical student in your third year, so far the progress has only included hours-long lectures, interesting practical classes, and tough-to-beat exams. It is time for you to make your mark out in the serene, disinfectant-scrubbed corridors.
While clinical rotations are incredibly fascinating, since you get to experience the nuances of patient treatment first-hand, it is important to know the standards of practical medicine.
Adhering to a few dos and don’ts of clinical rotations will help you avoid the obstacles of the unfamiliar territory.
Do – go the extra mile in learning
Take every opportunity you can to learn more about how the professionals work. Whether it is to examine a surgical procedure, or assist a staff member in treating a patient, or even conduct research through hospital archives in your free time, additional endeavors will serve to strengthen your achievements.
Don’t – complain about the hardships
You will encounter residents and other supporting staff who might inquire after your satisfaction and standing in the medical rotations. It is one thing to clear issues that concern you, and another to complain incessantly about the workload. Avoid complaining too much, as this behavior stands to ruin your reputation and professional relations.
Do – learn from your mistakes
As you step outside the theories and concepts, and take on a more practical stance, you are bound to make a few errors. And that is perfectly fine, as long as you consider those mistakes as a means to up your experience. Avoid letting your blunders keep you from trying again – as they are a part of your learning process.
Don’t – stray from appointed timings
Punctuality, you will have to maintain. Arrive early, and stay as late as you can. Negligence in adhering to the marked rotation times and opting out of opportunities to spend more time
in the corridors, which are taken by learned professionals, will only keep you from succeeding during this stage.
Do – retain your professionalism
Practical medicine is a process of encountering patients, listening to them, treating them and caring for them. Therefore, the clinical rotations are more than just about your knowledge and your skill-set; they call for polishing your interpersonal skills.
Whether you are interacting with your supervising seniors, hospital/ clinic staff, fellow peers, or the patients themselves, be respectful. Know how to maintain your composure in a challenging situation, despite how nervous you feel.
It is okay to cut yourself some slack from time to time, but remember that ethics remain at the heart of medicine, even for budding medical students.
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