The medical school curriculum comprises basic science and clinical medicine programs that last for four years in total. Basic science involves learning the theories and concepts in medicine, whereas during clinical medicine, you turn this theoretical knowledge into practice through clinical rotations.
The medical school rotations start in semester six and end by semester ten where you earn your Doctor of Medicine degree and move into the residency program. During this period, you are placed in hospitals under the expert guidance of doctors who will help you acquire essential practical knowledge and skills.
While clinical rotations are exciting, this transition can be a stressful time. It may create a lot of worries. Therefore, you must choose clinical rotations with a growth mindset. Sometimes it may sound complicated, but you only get one shot at it. So, make it count.
If you choose a medical career, so you know why you want to become a doctor, but clinical rotations are an important opportunity to learn what it takes to become a doctor. This is an excellent opportunity to earn experience you might not find in your classroom. So the critical way to get the most out of your clinical rotation for your advantage is to show up and commit.
Clinical rotations are lengthy working hours that involve core studies. They require patience and persistence. To prepare yourself and make the most of your experience in the medical field. However, being one of the most challenging times in your medical school, there are certain things you must know about clinical rotations. A few of them are listed below.
- Be prepared
The two years of the clinical medicine program are probably the most difficult time in the life of a medical student. You have to work in hospitals for rotations as well as study for various examinations during this time. So, you must be well prepared to navigate through the hurdles that come your way.
The best way to prepare yourself is to talk to your peers and understand the workflow and other necessary things. Their guidance will help you know what to expect during various rotations. You can even enquire about trivial things so that your first day of rotations is stress-free and expected.
- Create a study plan
Creating a study plan is important once you begin clinical rotations. Most of your time will be spent in hospitals around patients during the rotations. You will barely get any free time to study during this time.
What you must do is set a plan for yourself and study whenever you can. Be it between shifts or after your daily work at hospitals, find some time to study. Write short notes to remember the important points and take a glance at them when you can. This way you will not feel underprepared for your upcoming exams.
- Learn from your patients
Apart from textbooks and mentors, try learning from your patients. During clinical rotations, you will meet and interact with several patients and are allowed to diagnose and treat them under supervision. Unlike lectures and textbooks, they can be your best teachers providing you with valuable lessons and experiences. So, embrace the opportunity and grasp as much knowledge as you can.
- Manage your time well
Time management and organization are crucial to your clinical medicine success. Just like you create a study plan, have a fixed schedule for everything. Although this might initially seem difficult, living your clinical life in an organized manner can relieve you of many stresses.
- Find time for yourself
In between studies, do not forget to dedicate some time to yourself. You must always be your priority. On some days, avoid the stress of studies and clinical work, instead enjoy some peaceful time with friends or alone, doing the things you love the most. This will help you feel refreshed and rejuvenated between challenging schedules.
Keep these five things in mind and your clinical rotations will be an enjoyable experience for you.