Clinical rotations are a significant part of your MD program and have a great impact on the kind of doctor you will become in your career. Taken during the second half of your medical education, the clinical medicine program marks a departure from classroom lectures and the beginning of gaining practical exposure.
During the clinical rotations, you must build on the foundations laid by the basic science program that lasted from semesters one to five. Interacting with peers and seniors and paying close attention to the doctors at the hospital, you can acquire all the necessary skills and ace the final years of your MD program.
Clinical rotations, however, are tricky and challenging and you need an action plan to emerge successfully. Here’s what you can do to make your clinical years a smooth ride.
What to do before starting clinical rotations?
Before stepping into the clinical medicine program there are several things you should do to ensure that the journey ahead is easy for you. This could include creating a study plan, preparing yourself to stay organized and perhaps acquainting yourself with the important medical facts and content of the clinical rotations.
Creating a study plan for yourself will help you stay organized and manage time effectively in between rotations. You need to know how much time you will have each day to study and then prepare a timetable that dictates how, when, and what you will study during these hours. This will significantly help you during rotations by being organized and not lagging.
The next thing is you must become acquainted with the study material for clinical rotations. You can find this by talking to your seniors who have already completed their rotations. Familiarity with what is to come will help you keep going when you start your rotations.
What is the plan during clinical rotations?
Once you start, the important element is to find time to study. Although it can be difficult, you should make time every day by, for example, waking up early or studying during breaks between shifts to review the notes. Reading every day will help boost your confidence and reduce the stress that accumulates from piled-up study materials.
Just like studying your notes is significant to your success, so equally, is learning from your patients. As each patient’s medical condition is different, you can learn by talking to them. Read their medical records and talk to them to gain some invaluable insights on medicine. This can also boost your medical and ethical qualities.
Talk to your peers, seniors and teachers to understand their perspectives and insights on managing during clinical rotations. Also, make sure that you find some time every week for self-care as it is really important during stressful times. Go out, sleep well, eat healthily and exercise regularly to maintain your emotional well-being.
Keep these simple things in mind and you are good to do your clinical medicine program.