I can remember the days roaming Palmetto General Hospital as a third year student just excited to be dealing with real patients and getting out of that big lecture hall. Over the years as I have transitioned from medical student to medical resident to attending, I have been able to see what the recipe for successful and bad months are. Like I talked about in this week's preview I just started taking on a new student from Nova Southeastern so I figured this is an ideal time for this post. Coming from experience these are just a few of the things I have seen taken place and very quickly can recognize whether a student is going to be a good or bad one within the first week.


1. Show up on time

You would be surprised how many start showing up late after the first few days like its ok.

2. Be nice to ancillary staff

Whether you are in the hospital or clinic your evaluation not only includes how you treat the patients but how you treat the staff

3. Ask questions

You won’t know if you don’t ask.

4. Be attentive

One thing that helps student stick out in my mind is how much they are paying attention. The worst thing you can do is to have patients have to rehash details because you weren’t paying attention during discussion.

5. Remember that you're paying to be on rotations so take advantage of all the opportunities presented. 

I think this is one of the biggest ones because I have seen plenty a student who just half-ass their way through the month and believe me if I was paying tens of thousands in tuition fees I am going to earn every penny spent.


1. Lie

Self Explanatory but if you have no problem lying to attendings about what you have done or not done then you’re going to fail or kill someone.

2. Blow the rotation off

Telling an attending their field isn’t your specialty of choice is one thing but doing a terrible job because it’s not is grounds to fail the rotation.

3. Take advantage of acts of kindness

Your attending may be lax in regards to dress code or presentation but do not mistake it for them not caring about those factors. I know I love wearing scrubs in the clinic but that doesn’t mean that I won’t care if you started wearing jeans or something extremely too casual.

4. Not read up on your patients

As a medical student you leave behind the books and starting seeing those diseases you have read about in real life but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have to reinforce that learning with daily reading.  After the 6th person with diabetes comes in the office I should be able to ask you questions without you having a puzzling look on your face.

5. Sleep on the job

Like literally don’t sleep on the job, I wish I was joking but I have had students who have slept during morning lectures, morning reports & even during lunch lectures.

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