So what’s been happening with clinical rotations? Well, I’ll tell you; it’s not as bad as studying for the USMLE Step 1. The schedule I get depends on the attending doctor that we are under. Every rotation has a certain schedule, which is based on when and where the attending doctor show up or where he/she sends you.
For example, I did a Pediatric elective rotation and I showed up at three different clinics and a hospital. This rotation is off site from Jackson Park Hospital (JPH) so I never stepped into JPH until I started my core rotations.
The rotations are not that bad; however, it was difficult for the transition, from studying in a closed room for months to working with people in a big city. I have not interacted with different people for a long time since I was locked up studying for the USMLE Step 1 and the first month of rotations was hard while I adjusted.
Basically I do check up on the patients and report any findings to the attending or the physician assistant. The workload is not that much as it’s basically conducting what the doctor is supposed to do but their work in us. The workload includes doing a physical check up and doing SOAP notes on paper or on the computer, which depends on the facility. The attending doctor just walks in the room after I do my work and speaks to the patient and overlooks my work and corrects any error and signs off our work; this entire process takes about 30 minutes. I spend majority of the time in the exam room as I conduct the work and the doctor takes only 5 minutes to do his part.
This is where things are not so pleasing. Unless you can manage your time, studying while conducting rotations is kind of hard. If I come home at 5 in the evening then I’m tired and if I don’t have anything to eat then I have to cook so that takes more time. So at the end of the day I’m only left with 2-3 hours of study before I need to go to sleep because you need to be awake and focused to work the next day.