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You’re finally transitioning from classroom to clinic, which is a whole different level of learning.

 

Clinical rotations typically start during the 3rd year of medical school. Here, students get real-world experience in surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, psychiatry, and other core specialties. It can be nerve-wracking as you now have to apply what you’ve learned to real patients with real health concerns. Very soon, you’ll soon be able to handle orders and carry out treatment by asking shadowing and learning from seasoned medical professionals in the medical field…

 

Here are some tips and tricks to help you succeed in your clinical rotations:

 

Preparing is Key

 

First of all, you should prepare everything you will need when you start your clinical rotations. Aside from studying, you should find out the logistics in the place where you will do your practice. Ask your instructor what you should wear, when and where you should show up, where can you park and ask if there’s anything you should know about before you start.

Also, you should befriend your higher-level peers as they will be able to give you invaluable advice when you begin your clinical rotation. Write down every question you may have and pick their brains about the ins-and-outs of the clinical rotations. They will be able to give insight into what this process will be like.  

 

Keep Studying and Practicing The Necessary Skills

 

While in your rotation, it’s important to absorb every piece of information you can from every patient you encounter. You can carry a notepad and write down things that you’ve learned so you can review your notes later.

When you arrive home, it’s important to review your experience, especially cases which are new to you, so that when you encounter a similar situation, you’ll be able to remember and apply what you’ve learned. The more you read and study your cases, the better your education will be. 

Also, before participating in an upcoming procedure, make sure to read up and study as much as you can. You’ll have a better grasp of what’s happening when you understand every step of what the physicians and nurses are doing.

 

Stay in contact with your SJSM Clinical Advisor

 

As you navigate your clerkships, it’s important to stay in communication with your advisors and Dean’s Office. In addition to the excitement of all the hands-on, real world experiences and encounters that you will have, there may be various “not-so-exciting” administrative and logistical steps involved. To minimize the stress around these aspects, it behooves you to consult with your clinical advisors to garner the appropriate support. From scheduling rotations at a new site to applying for residency, don’t hesitate to ask for help along the way.

 

Take Care of Yourself

 

Take time to appreciate the fact that you are now out of the classroom and are now learning from actual physicians with real patients and legitimate illnesses. It’s a great experience that you should cherish as you are now just a few steps away from becoming a physician. 

Clinical rotations can be intense and exhausting, so make sure to allot some time to unwind. Remember to rest and get a good night’s sleep so you can refresh your mind the next day. 

Also, enjoy your life! Maintain a good relationship with your family and friends and spend time with them during your free time. They will be the ones who can keep you sane during stressful times in the hospital.

Good luck with your clinical rotations! It’s one of the most important parts of medical school so take it seriously and relish  every experience as you will be able to use it in your residency and practice in the future.

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