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How to show interest on a rotation

The third year of medical school comes with several challenges. One of which is proving to the residents and attendings on your rotation that you are interested in the service.

The key to survival is acting like you are interested on your rotation, whether or not you really are. If you do this, the residents will like you more and will want to teach you the “tricks of their trade.”

If you don’t appear interested in what the residents are doing, they will likely think of you as a bad, uninterested medical student, and give you a bad evaluation.

Here are some tips to show interest on your clinical rotation:

1) Don’t lose your team. If you find yourself alone or don’t know where the team is, page the intern, then the senior residents to find out where they are. It is better to be annoying and interested, than disinterested.

2) Stay with your team. Do not go off and disappear. You want the team to know where you are. If you have to leave, tell them where you are going — i.e. to class, etc.

3) Ask questions. Ask thoughtful questions at least once a day to the residents and attendings. Asking questions shows that you are interested.

4) Show up on time. Don’t be late. Punctuality is highly regarded.

5) Be dependable. If your job is to get numbers in the morning, make sure you are finished with that long before the team rounds. You do not want to leave to make copies when the team is already ready to round.

6) If you are on a surgery rotation and they ask you if you’d like to do A, B, or C, say, “Yes, I’d love to!”


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