Notes on Clerkship

A pretty brilliant individual spoke to our class today for about 10 minutes on the subject of clerkship. Clerkship is third year medical school where you get thrown into the hospital head-first and somewhat petrified. Although the content was not earth-shattering I was so happy he had the foresight and thoughtfulness to share his experiences. He gave us five clerkship tips:

1. Those people who think they will not transition well into clerkship, who are the most worried about it, will likely do the best and be the best clerks.

2. Challenge yourself to think everyday, to always be thinking about patients. Don’t just see a patient, do the same history and physical you’ve always done, and regurgitate it to the attending physician expecting them to do all the work. Think about every scenario and every patient.

3. No one is looking over your shoulder to make sure you learn all the things you must learn. You are responsible for your own learning, so make sure you take advantage of all the opportunities you receive.

4. Everyone has blind spots, whether it be working in teams, dealing with authority figures, or whatever. Be acutely aware of your weaknesses and blind spots, because if you do not, everyone else will see them but you.

5. For those people in the class who are really excellent, “the whole package,” (for which, he reiterated, there were only four in the whole room), make sure to seek out constructive criticism to make yourself better. When people only get positive feedback, it doesn’t help them to grow, and it is actually a disservice.

…I think all of this advice is really applicable to life in general, isn’t it?


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