Tag Archives: specialty rotations

What Jobs to Med Students Actually Do in their clerksh?


The medical student’s jobs may be less than sexy, but they’re important.

Medical students are both learners and an important part of the teaching hospital labor pool. Recently, Dave realized he doesn’t actually know–what are their actual jobs? And how do they find out what they are?

In general the job is to both learn medicine and be helpful. There are many tasks that belong to no particular person, and students can take advantage of this by being there to jump in and take on the job. Whether it’s getting that cup of water or calling another hospital for a patient’s records, someone’s got to do the unsexy stuff. By taking on that task that no one else has time for the student frees up a nurse, a resident or an attending for the more complex tasks. Like teaching! Perhaps as important, that student has an opportunity to demonstrate their can-do attitude and get that all important positive comment on their evaluation to show their prospective residency programs as they apply for jobs.

M3s Nick Lind and Emma Barr, and M4s Holly Conger and Joyce Wahba join Dave to share what they’ve learned, and show that even if you’re not the brain of the operation, even if you’re just a kinesin dragging your vesicle around a cell in between the hospital’s toes, the least glamorous task is a lifesaver to someone.

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Two-weekers: What are they good for?


rebel photo
Photo by MarkWallace

Kaci McCleary, Dylan Todd, Amy Young and Corbin Weaver are on hand this time to talk about the two-week specialty rotations, like Ophthalmology and Radiology.  You see, as Kaci entered her clinical clerkships, she had four of these short rotations in a row, and found herself hating them.  They seemed like a waste of time, and weren’t offering her much in the way of hands-on experience.  While her experience isn’t universal, we thought some might question the utility of these short rotations, especially if one isn’t going into a specialty but is more focused on primary care.  Fortunately, there’s some hope on the horizon in the form of instant learning through brain stimulation.  Will future med students even need two-weekers?  This leads us into a discussion on the place of rebellion in medical school.  Does medicine need people who buck the system?   How should someone who sees herself as firmly outside the box react when they’re surrounded by it?

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The opinions expressed in this feed and podcast are not those of the University of Iowa or the Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine; nor do they reflect the views of anyone other than the people who expressed them.  If you have feedback on anything you hear on the show, positive or not, let us know.