MS4 –> PGY-1 Note to Self: What I Wish My Interns Remembered When I Was A Med Student

“Is there anything else I can do to help?” means, “Can I *please* go home now?” Either keep them productively busy, or let them go.

Free food and coffee are always appreciated

Med students aren’t bad people, they’re just lower down on the learning curve, and might be a little rougher around the edges. Constructive feedback is worth the effort!

Med students are people too.

Post-call brunch is a great idea. Or end of the rotation happy hour.

Be direct, and communicate. Please. They can’t read minds, and if you don’t tell them they’re being annoying, they will continue to annoy you.
Like interns, med students have lives, families, missed sleep, and things to study. They also have grocery shopping to do, and sanity to regain.

There’s no such thing as adult learning. Everyone has different learning styles. They’ve just spent two years in a lecture hall. Try alternative modes of teaching.

It’s not scut work if you would have had to do it anyway. It is scut work if you were planning on calling the repair person to help, or if it has nothing to do with patient care.*

*It’s not scut work if you ask the med student to fetch you coffee/food as long as you offer to pay for theirs.

Med students are still undifferentiated. The two best simultaneous approaches are, “How can we gear this rotation so it helps you in your chosen specialty?” and “How can we convert you to our specialty if you’re not already headed in this direction?” It happens all the time. And men do go into OB/Gyn: not too many were planning on it until the clinical rotation.

Med students can be helpful.

Reading is fun. But med students would rather *do* things. If you’ve already got your numbers, and there aren’t three admits waiting for you, consider letting your med student talk to or touch the patient.

They might be your intern one day. Might as well help them be a better provider and colleague now, rather than later.

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About the Author

I moved to Portland in 2005, and now call Oregon home. I spent four good years with Med 11!, and am now starting residency in the Family Medicine/Preventive Medicine program. Cheers to my fellow bloggers--you guys are insightful, talented, and absolutely hilarious.



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