Originally Posted by router1
I will be starting rotations in a couple of months and would like to know how to best protect myself 3rd year. I've heard way too many horror stories from people about how they they've gotten screwed.
Aside from being on top of my game by reading every night after work and doing questions on Uworld CK and Kaplan, what else can I do? I'm looking for specific advice not general aphorisms such as "being nice, helpful, etc"
I apologize in advance if this is a redundant thread. I'm sure this issue has been discussed numerous times in the past. If someone could point me to the thread where this has been discussed, I would appreciate that as well.
I never figured it out and I'm not sure there's a good way to protect yourself. The issue is that 3rd year is basically like working a job, and the way to get good reviews in a job is to be whatever your boss wants you to be. If they're in a hurry to leave you need to make sure not to waste their time, if they like 'dedicated learners' you need to produce a steady stream of questions about their profession, and if they're relaxed you might need to give off a steady stream of jokes and small talk, both of which can get very crude.
That's not that hard, right? And it isn't if you're in an office, where you have a real job and no more than a couple of superiors reviewing you an a given year. The problem with third year is that you don't have a real job, and at any given time you might have half a dozen different 'bosses' who get switched out for a new set of superiors every couple of weeks. Because you don't have a real job its easy for your superiors to ignore you entirely most of the time, and attempting to interject yourself when you're not needed can only result in annoying them, so you often make no impression at all. Since you have up to half a dozen people reviewing you, and you get a new set of bosses every month, you would need superhuman social skills to learn what they like and dislike before you get a brand new chain of comman the next week. Actually, since you report to half a dozen people, most of the time you CAN'T adapt to them, since you'll often have conflicting personalities on the same team. The steady stream of questions that makes you look like a go getter to your wonkish attending will make you look like a kiss ass to your chief resident. Laughing at your Interns crude joke will make you look a jackass to your feminist R2, but not laughing will make the Intern think you're a prude. You often can't win.
So the advice is pretty generic. Avoid doing things that all bosses hate: never be late, never leave early, don't lie, don't complain, do your work well, dress professionally (iron your clothes), and have a positive attitude. Other than that focus on the shelf exam, since its the only part of your grade that's really under your control, don't allow someone to harass you for the sake of preserving you grade (since it normally won't help anyway), and when you get screwed don't let it get to you too much. Good luck.