How to Succeed in Clerkship 2017-04-17T16:13:42+00:00

We believe in you!

You are the new leaders in medicine and future of the health of our nation and world.  You are here because you are highly intelligent, and that’s a great start.  However, that is not all you need to help you succeed in the challenging world of Family Medicine.

The field of Family Medicine is extremely rewarding but highly challenging with its breadth and depth.   In order to be a good family physician you need to have the following characteristics as outlined by The Future of Family Medicine: A Collaborative Project of the Family Medicine Community

AttributeDescription
A deep understanding of the dynamics of the whole personThis approach leads family physicians to consider all the influences on a person’s health. It helps to integrate rather than fragment care, involving people in the prevention of illness and the care of their problems, diseases, and injuries
 A generative impact on patients’ lives This terminology comes from Erik Erikson’s work on personality development. Family physicians participate in the birth, growth, and death of their patients and want to make a difference in their lives. While providing services that prevent or treat disease, family physicians foster personal growth in individuals and help with behavior change that may lead to better health and a greater sense of well-being
 A talent for humanizing the health care experience The intimate relationships family physicians develop with many of their patients over time enable family physicians to connect with people. This ability to connect in a human way with patients allows family physicians to explain complex medical issues in ways that their patients can understand. Family physicians take into account the culture and values of their patients, while helping them get the best care possible
 A natural command of complexity Family physicians are comfortable with uncertainty and complexity. They are trained to be inclusive, to consider all the factors that lead to health and well-being—not just pills and procedures
 A commitment to multidimensional accessibility Family physicians are not only physically accessible to patients and their families and friends, they are also able to maintain open, honest and sharing communications with all who are involved in the care process

Ann Fam Med March 1, 2004 vol. 2 no. suppl 1 S3-S32

To this end, the learning process may be arduous and steep.  Following are a few tips to help you achieve great things during your Family Medicine Clerkship.

10 Tips to succeeding in clinical rotations

  1. Ask questions and show interest
  2. Don’t be afraid to make “mistakes” and do things that you haven’t done before, but also “don’t be a cowboy” or “cowgirl”.
  3. Read a little all of the time.
  4. Read about medical topics during or right after seeing the patient.
  5. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
  6. Be open to different points of view and realize that medicine is often more of an art than a science.
  7. Don’t be judgmental.
  8. Acquire the “good traits” of people you admire.
  9. Don’t try to be anybody else other than yourself.
  10. Be honest with yourself and others about what specialty you are interested in.