Success on the Wards: 250 Rules for Clerkship Success

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9780972556194: Success on the Wards: 250 Rules for Clerkship Success

This is an absolute must-read for students entering clinical rotations. The authors of Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years bring their same combination of practical recommendations and evidence-based advice to clerkships. The book begins as a how-to guide, with clerkship-specific templates, such as op notes and admission orders, along with sample notes and guides for every aspect of core clerkships (internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, obstetrics/gynecology, psychiatry, family medicine).

The book reviews proven strategies for success in patient care, write-ups, rounds, and other vital areas. Grades in required rotations are the most important academic criteria used to select residents, and this critical year can determine career choices as well.

This book shows students what they can do now to position themselves for match success. An invaluable resource for medical students - no student should be without it.

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From the Author:

In a survey of over 1,200 residency program directors across 21 medical specialties, grades in required clerkships were ranked as the # 1 factor (Green) in the residency selection process. Consider the following:

  • "Do well in your clerkship," writes the Department of Medicine at the University of Washington. "Yes, this is obvious - and easier said than done - but it's also important. Most residency programs look closely at the third-year clerkship grade when selecting applicants."
  • The University of Colorado Department of Surgery writes that "most surgery programs look very favorably on an 'Honors' grade in your MS3 surgery clerkship rotation and may factor in the grades you received in your Medicine and Ob/Gyn rotations."
  • According to the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of California Davis, "USMLE scores and clerkship grades (especially in ob/gyn, surgery, and internal medicine) are considered factual data and ranked high."
  • "Most institutions utilize board score and clerkship grade cut points to help narrow the field," writes Dr. Tobias Kohler, urology residency program director at Southern Illinois University.
  • Dr. Michael Wu, the Director of Medical Student Education in Ophthalmology at the University of Washington, writes that "Academic performance, particularly on the core clerkships and the USMLE Step 1, may limit a student's ability to match successfully in ophthalmology."
  • In one study examining performance of orthopaedic surgery residents, performance in medical school clinical clerkships was most predictive of overall performance (Dirschl).
  • The Stanford University Department of Radiology writes that "successful candidates will have demonstrated outstanding performance in the core clinical clerkships."
  • "As Emergency Medicine is a more competitive specialty, students show know criteria for honors grades before each rotation, and strive for excellence," writes Dr. Shahram Lotfipour, associate dean and professor of emergency medicine at University of California - Irvine.
  • "Clerkship grades from third year are undeniably important - this is the most important year academically...Obtaining as many 'honors' grades as possible should be your goal. This will greatly improve the chances for election into AOA, which provides a significant advantage in the dermatology application process," writes Dr. Ali Alikhan of the Mayo Clinic Department of Dermatology (Alikhan).
To build a strong foundation for patient care, and to match into your chosen field, you must maximize your clerkship education. In Success on the Wards, you'll learn specific strategies for success during the most important year of medical school.

Inside -
  • One study concluded that "The majority of the resident and attending's impression of a student, and ultimately the student's evaluation, is directly linked to how well the student presents" patients (Davenport). Learn how you can deliver polished oral case presentations in medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, and ob/gyn.
  • What aspect of the patient write-up was found to be a good discriminator between average and superior medicine clerks (Parenti)? Find out how you can create excellent and effective write-ups.
  • Residents and faculty use different criteria to evaluate students. What criteria do they value more highly?
  • Many attending physicians use the RIME method to evaluate student performance. What is it, and how can you use it to improve your clinical skills?
  • In one study of teaching rounds, students spoke only 4% of the time. Many students are shy or quiet, and this poses a challenge for attendings, given their responsibility for student evaluation. You'll learn effective ways to increase your participation in rounds.
  • Letters of recommendation are often not as strong as they could be. With time, specific memories of a student's performance may fade, and this can lead to the development of a letter lacking in the type of details that residency programs seek. What can you do now to help your attending remember the specifics of your clerkship performance?
Utilizing a unique combination of evidence-based advice and insiders' perspective, this book will help you achieve your goal - Success on the Wards.

About the Author:

Dr. Samir Desai serves on the faculty of the Baylor College of Medicine in the Department of Medicine. He is actively involved in medical student education and a member of the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine. As an author, he has written 12 books that together have sold over 150,000 copies worldwide.

His book, Success in Medical School: Insider Advice for the Preclinical Years, provides students with the knowledge and guidance to excel during the first two years of medical school. In 2009, he co-authored The Successful Match: 200 Rules to Succeed in the Residency Match, a book that has helped thousands of residency applicants match successfully. Other books include the best-selling Clinician's Guide to Laboratory Medicine: Pocket. This resource, widely used by students, offers a unique step-by-step approach to lab test interpretation.

After completing his residency in Internal Medicine at Northwestern, he had the opportunity of serving as chief medical resident. He received his M.D. degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan, graduating first in his class.

Dr. Rajani Katta is an Associate Professor in the Department of Dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. She is the course director for dermatology in the basic sciences, and has served as the clerkship director for the dermatology rotation. In these capacities, she has seen firsthand the importance of outstanding clinical evaluations in securing a position in a competitive specialty, and her insight in this area has helped students seeking these types of competitive positions.

Having advised many students over the years regarding the dermatology match process, she was determine to become expert in this area, and share her knowledge, insight, and perspective. In 2009, she coauthored The Successful Match: 200 Rules to Succeed in the Residency Match.

After graduating with honors from Baylor College of Medicine, she completed her dermatology residency at Northwestern University.

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