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Not-So-Glorified Shadowing?


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I'm a few rotations in, and other than procedures, I feel like I really haven't done anything. I haven't had my own patients, I haven't done a single diagnosis or written any orders/labs, anything. I feel like I'm just shadowing with intermittent procedures. I really want to practice actually managing patients from start to finish, and I haven't gotten the chance at all. My current preceptor is everything but ignoring me altogether. I've mentioned this to my clinical director, but they don't care.

 

Is this normal?

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  • 3 weeks later...

If your clinical coordinator is aware of problems with the rotation sites and won’t do anything about it He/She isn’t doing their job. 

Does your school let you do evaluations on the preceptor/site at the end of rotations?  If so make sure to be brutally honest.  

You might get the attention of the clinical coordinator if you send an email with your program director and advisor cc’d asking for a change of rotation site due to poor learning environment.

Edited by MCHAD
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I don’t think a preceptor just ignoring you is normal. However, I do think it is very important to look in the mirror a bit, be honest with yourself, and be sure that is what’s happening. During my rotations, multiple times, I was told by my fellow classmates very similar stories/experiences like you described above about a rotation of been assigned to next. Surprisingly, my experience would be completely different.

Be honest with your preceptor and do as much as you can on your own.
Can’t use the EMR? Write it out on paper. Then compare your decision making with that of your preceptor.
Ask questions about what they are doing?
Be personable. Read up on whatever their interests are.
Find other providers/students around you to learn from too!

Again, put in a bit more work if you have to. Kiss some butt, it’s to your benefit. Some of the toughest (personality wise) preceptors I had, I’m so grateful for now. But do keep in mind that I am known for enjoying to deal with the tough, angry, odd one out type of peeps!

Good luck!


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  • 3 weeks later...

I was always really up front with my preceptors.  My school had strict requirements about patient encounters and writing notes so I told them on day one that I needed to have my own assignment, I would see the patient, I would report back to them, I would write the notes, etc.  They were all on board.  If you show initiative and prove that you know what you're doing without being annoying, preceptors usually get you more involved.  

Read.  Study.  Come in and tell me what you read about last night and how it is applicable to our patients.  When I get a call from the ED, offer to go do the consult/admission.  Ask me pertinent questions.  Make suggestions.  If you are feeling underwhelmed with the tasks you are being given, ask for another.  If I assign you 2 patients and you want 3, say so.  

When I have students, the first week is generally a trial where they need to prove to me that I can rely on them to do a H&P/consult/SOAP encounter going forward, without me breathing down their neck.  If they can't answer a good number of my questions, or if they can't gather appropriate information during an interview, or if they appear unenthused, then they tend to be side lined.  

Edited by Kaepora
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