5 Tips to Know before Starting Clinical Rotations

Clinical rotations are the final and most crucial phase of an MD program. The first five semesters of the MD program focus on the basic science course, whereas the last five semesters offer a well-designed clinical medicine program. After spending two years in the classroom learning basic science, students are encouraged to begin clinical scientific

studies, of which clinical rotation is a part. Clinical rotations refer to the period in which a medical student rotates through different specialties in a hospital setting, shadowing a physician or senior resident.

Before starting clinical rotation, there are a few tips to know that can help you succeed through the clinical years while making the most out of it. Let’s look at the top five tips:

1. Choose your rotations carefully

Clinical rotations are best for helping medical students figure out what medical residencies can best match their interests. However, during the clinical rotations, the medical students can work with an expert and experienced medical professional in various disciplines. This helps them make educated and aware decisions about the specialty to join in the later years of their medical career.

Tips for choosing the right clinical rotation:

  • Explore all the clinical rotations available. It can help you identify the medical discipline you are genuinely passionate about.
  • Invest time in researching possible opportunities and options available for the specialty of your interest.
  • Spend time with your fellow students in discussing the clinical rotations that may give you a newer perspective.

2. Practice the skills used in clinical rotations

When you enter an MD program, you will be subjected to study the basic sciences in the first five semesters. The basic science course aims at the theoretical part of medical studies and helps the students develop clinical skills that can help them during their rotation years. 

Make a list of things you desire to learn from the clinical rotations and practice the skills you have already learned during your early years. 

3. Connect with your seniors or fourth-year peers

A senior can be an excellent mentor to you. The advice received from the fourth-year peer is of high value because they have experienced clinical rotations and are in the position to guide you with the best advice. Hence, connecting with them can help you learn about the upcoming challenges. Being prepared beforehand can help you experience a smooth clinical rotation.

4. Enhance your organizational skills

During the clinical rotations, being organized can help you a lot. You can organize patient information in one place that can facilitate updating it while on rounds. The values, updates, and data must be written down in a notebook. This can make you remember the minor things but of great importance. 

5. Be inquisitive

Ask questions. Do not hesitate to ask questions at any time. The students who enter clinical rotations are freshers, unaware of many things that happen in a hospital setting. But avoid asking questions that you can quickly look up in books or over the internet.  


Clinical rotations can transform you from a classroom medical student to a doctor working in the hospital setting with actual patients. However, if you follow our tips before entering a clinical rotation, you can indeed have a unique learning experience. To learn more about clinical rotation, visit our website and enroll yourself in a well-design MD program!

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