Clerkship Choices

Medical school is going by quickly, seven weeks and second year will come to a close.  Soon we will move from theory to practice.  This fall marks the beginning of 16 months of clinical training.  The first year covers the core specialties, while the last 4 months are elective placements in areas of interest.  Thus, all of us will cover:

  • Pediatrics
  • Obstetrics/Gynecology
  • Internal Medicine,
  • Family Medicine,
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery

Most contain a number of required components, but we do get to pick selectives in some of these fields.  These selectives allow you to gain experience in a field of interest, helping to rule them in/out as a career path.  They can also lead to fourth year electives or reference letters for CaRMS.

So, this is where some stress comes in.  Clerkship leads to electives; electives lead to CaRMS applications and matching.  What order do you pick your rotations?  How do you rank your selectives for the ‘lottery’?  Looking forward also causes concern about the current level of competition in certain fields, raising questions about the strength of one’s application.  Do I need more research?  Have I fulfilled the CanMEDS roles?

There is a lot of advice, some of it conflicting, however, the school has done an admirable job bringing in senior students to speak on issues of clerkship and residency matching.  Feedback on selectives was provided by previous years, giving insight into responsibilities, hours, call, expectations, etc. which proved useful for many.  General advice was against putting the field you are most interested in first so as to have some experience and confidence by the time it approaches.  Wish I did, but I don’t have the solution to ‘the perfect order’, and as haven’t decided on a direction, it was easier to do than if I was structuring my selections towards a certain field.

More posts on clerkship once it starts, it will be a change, but one I’m looking forward to.

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2 thoughts on “Clerkship Choices

  1. Hey Kevin, I’m a doctor from India who religiously follows your posts and find your insights on experiences enthralling. I’ve just cleared my USMLE step 1 and will appear for my Step 2 CS in Feb. Your posts have left me inspired to hunt for similar opportunities and any help on that front will be appreciated. Thanks in advance 🙂

    1. Thanks for your kind words, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed my posts and the experiences I’ve shared. Good luck on the Step 2, since it isn’t required here I don’t have any real advice for it.

      In terms of general advice. Keep a journal or have a method to get down ideas/experiences quickly to develop later. Also, being on the look out for funding opportunities and publication opportunities. Cheers

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