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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