How to be a successful third year

How to be successful in third year:
Be on time
o Arrival time depends on the specific clerkship, and the rotation you
are on within that clerkship.
o Arrive several minutes before rounds begin if you need to “pre-round”
on medicine/pediatrics, do “the list” on surgery, etc.
Dress Appropriately
o Each rotation has appropriate attire. Learn what that is.
o Always wear your white coat!
o Note: scrubs are always okay on weekends, regardless of the rotation
o Sometimes you’ll need to bring clothes to change into – be prepared!
Be a team player
o Be willing to help complete tasks that will benefit the team:
 Call pharmacy to check doses of medicines
 Fill out forms for transferring patients to rehab centers, etc.
 Go back and check on the patient in the afternoon and tell you
resident about any CHANGES.
o Help out your fellow medical students, because this will help you
learn how to teach and reinforce the information
 Never steal the spotlight or make another student look bad.
o Have a good attitude about working on your team
 This has a bigger impact than you know!
Be aware of the hierarchy
o Attending  Upper level resident  Intern (1st year resident)  MS-3
o In general, approach the next lowest on the hierarchy to ask for
instructions about what to do, where to be, etc.
o If you do not understand a plan or disagree with something that is
said, or catch the resident making a mistake on something, do not
“challenge” the plan or correct the resident in front of the attending.
 You can mention the mistake quietly at an appropriate time
Be honest
o If you don’t know something or didn’t do something, be honest.
 Never say or document false information
Keep patient information handy and well-organized
o This takes time, but find and stick with a system that works for you.
o Suggestions: students often use clipboards, note cards, or print an
H&P and make daily notes on the back of those pages.
Be empathetic toward patients
o Your team will notice if you take time to get to know the details of
your patients you can only learn from spending time with them.
o Spend the time with the patients – because you have it.
o Keep your team informed of anything you find about your patients.
o Always be respectful of and polite towards your patients
Seek out opportunities to participate and learn
o Be self-motivated and volunteer to help with tasks, do procedures, etc.
o The more you see, the more you will learn!
o Offer to perform procedures that you have done in the past; watch
those that you have not seen before; teach your fellow students if they
haven’t done a particular procedure.
 The mantra in medicine is often “see, do, teach”
Your grade
o Grades in third year are a combination of your evaluations and tests.
 Evaluations are from attendings and residents (not interns)
 Tests are typically the NBME “Shelf” Exams.
 A few rotations may have an oral exam also.