15+ Year Member
- Apr 4, 2007
- Reaction score
I have a question that I feel faces a lot of medical students. I went to a medical school that allowed us a variety of options in terms of clinical rotations. For some reason, most of my clinical rotations turned out to be very easy. I did have a few difficult inpatient rotations, but even so I felt that I have now forgotten most of what I have learned. Many of my rotations were outpatient family medicine rotations or stereotypical "tough" rotations that turned out to be easy (for instance for my surgery rotation my surgeon didn't work much so I just showed up for maybe 4 hours a day M-F).
What I know you probably will say is: "Everyone feels under-prepared for internship." Well, that may be the case, but I feel like I will be EXTRA-under-prepared due to my mostly easy clinical years. I feel like when I start internship, I will know nothing and look like a total idiot to my peers and attendings.
I did match in Family Medicine at a very competitive program. I attribute that to the fact that I have a great personality and am an excellent interviewee. Although I did well in pre-clinicals, I passed the boards with low scores. I have a 4.0 in my clinical rotations but I think that is because I had attendings who were easy-graders grading me.
I know aProgDirector once mentioned that he has seen students from some DO schools be under-prepared for internship. Well, I am very afraid I may be from the schools he was referring to.
Assuming that I am under-prepared for internship, how can I get prepared? Should I basically read books? What advice do you have? Thank you!
Okay, interesting question. First of all, I agree with the "everyone feels unprepared for residency" idea. In fact, almost everyone feels unprepared (or should at least) for becoming an attending. That's a big transition too.
Regardless, I accept that you feel especially unprepared. Even students with a solid clinical education in med school can feel "especially unprepared" for some rotations (e.g. critical care) and have a lot of concerns.
The amazing thing is that you, like almost all residents, will very quickly adapt. To me, the key is being truly ready to commit to residency. That means being prepared to do more than just your hospital time (80 hours isn't trivial, is it?) but also to briefly read about your patients using easily available material (e.g. UpToDate). Be honest in your first rotations about what you don't feel comfortable with (especially procedures) and accept that your first rotations will not feel great. But, the learning curve is incredible in internship and the overwhelming majority of interns quickly move to where they need to be.
Perhaps aPD or others have more specific suggestions or ideas?