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chandlmr

Clinical Rotation Experience

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I have been accepted to Pacific's Program, and I'd love to know more about the clinical year experience! We had some time during the interview day with second year students in their clinical year, but wasn't sure what to ask at the time because I was replaying the interview I just had in my head over and over again😅 Any information from current students preparing for or in their clinical year and alumni would be appreciated! Specifically: Did you feel prepared to learn during your clinical year? Examples of locations? Exposure to different types of medicine? (their rotation titles are pretty general, are there opportunities for rotations in subspecialties?) Difficulty with logistics (housing, notification of rotation changes, etc)? Quality of preceptors? How much are your preferences considered? How hands on are your rotations? Has anyone suggested a new rotation location and had it work out? I'll take anything you might want to share!

I also noticed other programs I interviewed at had shorter rotations which resulted in 10+ rotations during the clinical year. How do you feel about the 6 week length? Do you wish there were more rotations?

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On 11/25/2019 at 10:34 AM, chandlmr said:

I have been accepted to Pacific's Program, and I'd love to know more about the clinical year experience! We had some time during the interview day with second year students in their clinical year, but wasn't sure what to ask at the time because I was replaying the interview I just had in my head over and over again😅 Any information from current students preparing for or in their clinical year and alumni would be appreciated! Specifically: Did you feel prepared to learn during your clinical year? Examples of locations? Exposure to different types of medicine? (their rotation titles are pretty general, are there opportunities for rotations in subspecialties?) Difficulty with logistics (housing, notification of rotation changes, etc)? Quality of preceptors? How much are your preferences considered? How hands on are your rotations? Has anyone suggested a new rotation location and had it work out? I'll take anything you might want to share!

I also noticed other programs I interviewed at had shorter rotations which resulted in 10+ rotations during the clinical year. How do you feel about the 6 week length? Do you wish there were more rotations?

Since no one else has answered, I'll give you my responses, although mine are 7 years old.

Yes, I was prepared to learn during my clinical year, but the current students are quite a bit more prepared than we were.

My locations were mostly in Oregon and Washington, because I requested to stay closer to home with my family, and they were able to do that.  Others go all over the country--to Alaska, Hawaii, and all across the west, with stateside rotations as far east as Ohio.  I did a tropical medicine/medical Spanish rotation in Costa Rica, but that precise international rotation is no longer an option.

Preceptors were great overall.  There was one I didn't click with, for my inpatient rotation, but that was the worst it got, and he still passed me for the rotation.

Everything was very 'hands on' except my surgery and cardiology rotations at Madigan.  I did clinic for both, with attendings following my exam, but in the surgical suite, I was mostly just holding the camera, closing skin, and the like.  There was a TON of cool stuff to see... but with a ton of residents around, we would jockey with the med students to get close enough to really see.  Not a whole lot of open cases where we needed to hold retractors, either--everything possible is laparoscopic... so I held the camera a lot.  I was expected to do H&P from day 1 of every rotation, and worked into procedural skills as I demonstrated myself to be competent and trustworthy.

The specific subspecialty is not reflected in the individual course titles: 'surgery' could be general, ortho, trauma, cardiothoracic... and I still have no insight into how they specifically allocate rotations.  This allows a good bit of customization if, for example, someone wanted to do pediatric surgery, pediatric EM, pediatrics for primary care... within the ARC-PA limits. But back to Madigan, I told the clinical coordinator at one point I had worked for the Coast Guard and was quite familiar with combined military/civilian organizations, which I think is why I got assigned to Madigan for my first rotation.  I know that some of the rotations had prerequsities, such that (I believe, I may be mis-remembering) if you wanted to do trauma surgery, you already had to have emergency medicine and inpatient rotations.

Six week rotations seemed ideal, because it takes about a month for preceptors and staff to understand who you are and what you can do; I found some of the coolest things I learned were in the last two weeks, and while I would have liked to have even more different experiences, I think six weeks was a great balance, and that's probably why the program hasn't changed the rotation *length* in years.  Now, they have changed the particular type and number of rotations, but not the overall length.

Logistics are on the student's own, but reflected in the cost of attendance for the clinical year, so your loans will cover the Craigslist or Air B&B.  Many established rotation sites had known safe/appropriate places to stay passed down from one class to the next.  There were a few horror stories about last minute changes--we had one preceptor die!--but the clinical team always managed to come through.

Does that help?

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On 11/27/2019 at 11:02 PM, rev ronin said:

Since no one else has answered, I'll give you my responses, although mine are 7 years old.

Yes, I was prepared to learn during my clinical year, but the current students are quite a bit more prepared than we were.

My locations were mostly in Oregon and Washington, because I requested to stay closer to home with my family, and they were able to do that.  Others go all over the country--to Alaska, Hawaii, and all across the west, with stateside rotations as far east as Ohio.  I did a tropical medicine/medical Spanish rotation in Costa Rica, but that precise international rotation is no longer an option.

Preceptors were great overall.  There was one I didn't click with, for my inpatient rotation, but that was the worst it got, and he still passed me for the rotation.

Everything was very 'hands on' except my surgery and cardiology rotations at Madigan.  I did clinic for both, with attendings following my exam, but in the surgical suite, I was mostly just holding the camera, closing skin, and the like.  There was a TON of cool stuff to see... but with a ton of residents around, we would jockey with the med students to get close enough to really see.  Not a whole lot of open cases where we needed to hold retractors, either--everything possible is laparoscopic... so I held the camera a lot.  I was expected to do H&P from day 1 of every rotation, and worked into procedural skills as I demonstrated myself to be competent and trustworthy.

The specific subspecialty is not reflected in the individual course titles: 'surgery' could be general, ortho, trauma, cardiothoracic... and I still have no insight into how they specifically allocate rotations.  This allows a good bit of customization if, for example, someone wanted to do pediatric surgery, pediatric EM, pediatrics for primary care... within the ARC-PA limits. But back to Madigan, I told the clinical coordinator at one point I had worked for the Coast Guard and was quite familiar with combined military/civilian organizations, which I think is why I got assigned to Madigan for my first rotation.  I know that some of the rotations had prerequsities, such that (I believe, I may be mis-remembering) if you wanted to do trauma surgery, you already had to have emergency medicine and inpatient rotations.

Six week rotations seemed ideal, because it takes about a month for preceptors and staff to understand who you are and what you can do; I found some of the coolest things I learned were in the last two weeks, and while I would have liked to have even more different experiences, I think six weeks was a great balance, and that's probably why the program hasn't changed the rotation *length* in years.  Now, they have changed the particular type and number of rotations, but not the overall length.

Logistics are on the student's own, but reflected in the cost of attendance for the clinical year, so your loans will cover the Craigslist or Air B&B.  Many established rotation sites had known safe/appropriate places to stay passed down from one class to the next.  There were a few horror stories about last minute changes--we had one preceptor die!--but the clinical team always managed to come through.

Does that help?

Yes this is so helpful!! I appreciate your thorough response!

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