Entering into medical school brings about a number of changes into the life of a Student. As the first two years of attending lectures and spending maximum time with hefty books comes to an end, a whole new chapter awaits the medical student in the third year of school – Clinical Rotations.
What are clinical rotations?
Clinical rotation is an opportunity to treat patients directly. The rotations are conducted in medical centers that are affiliated with the medical school. The time span of Clinical rotations and areas of focus during the third and fourth year varies from one institution to the other. During clinical rotations, the students will be supervised by resident physicians and the process works similar to any scheduled job.
Why are clinical rotations important?
The first two years of medical school involves garnering knowledge about the various facets of medical field. Clinical rotations involve application of this knowledge and development of patient management skills. Clinical rotations are similar to MCAT one-on-one training classes where students get an opportunity to personally interact with the mentor (who in this case is the resident physician) and learn the nuances of the subject effectively. Most often, students make their clinical rotation experience as the basis while choosing their specialty area. In short, clinical rotations are an invaluable experience to gain confidence as a medical student and to learn the right communication strategies in the hospital setup.
How can a student make the best out of the clinical rotation experience?
- Be willing to put extra effort that can help stand out among other students.
- Volunteer to shoulder certain responsibilities of the resident physician.
- While attending patients, review their medical history, lab tests and other diagnostic results in advance.
- Establish a good rapport with the resident physician and make a genuine effort to learn from them. Use the key points taught in communication lessons during the MCAT one-on-one training classes in order to learn effectively from the resident physician.
- Avoid complaining about performing certain tasks, every aspect of the clinical rotation offers in-depth learning.
- Be professional in dressing up, handling patient cases and interacting with nurses and other doctors in the medical center.
- Arrive at the center at the right time and be organized.
- Respect every member of the hospital setup and avoid excessive use of phone for personal communication.
What happens when a medical student makes a mistake during the clinical rotation period?
Mistakes are a part of the learning process. Students are expected to report their mistakes immediately to the resident physician rather than finding a way to cover them up. Resident physicians in return must take responsibility of the mistake and ensure constructive feedback is given to students in order to prevent recurrence of such situations in the future. Therefore, students must be open to leverage the opportunities that come their way and learn from their mistakes too.
Clinical rotations are an essential part of medical school and experts recommend students to focus on a wider variety of specialties during their clinical rotation in order to learn team-based practice effectively.
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