Which do you prefer: Medical Student Vs Student Doctor?
How do you introduce yourself to patients and other doctors?
Does it really make a difference? Aren’t they the same thing?
We like – Student Doctor. It easily communicates to patients what profession you are training for. And it also gives you a subtle reminder:
Yes, I am training towards being a doctor, diagnosis diseases, treating diseases, prescribing drugs and caring for my patients.
Yes, I have already obtained medical knowledge and skills that will be of help the care of patients.
Yes, I am a work in progress, I do not know it all and I do not need to know it all at this stage, even if it were possible.
So, Medics’ Inn likes the term ‘Student Doctor’.
What do you think?
Here are 3 things you should know before you venture into the practical world of clinical medicine. If you’re already on the wards/theatres/etc., it’s not too late – this will still help!
- You are a valuable member of the team! It’s easy to feel insignificant on a busy ward, ward round, clinic or theatre. But remember you are a valuable member of the team! With this thought at the back of your mind, stir up the courage to approach a member of staff (it doesn’t always have to be a doctor) and let them know who you are and what you want to do. E.g. “Hello, My name is Leo/Liz, I am a medical student in my third year. I will be spending the morning with the doctors and learning on the cardiology ward round. How can I help and get stuck in?” You will be pleasantly surprised with the responses you will receive.
- Be early, not on time, but early. Getting to your location 10-15 minutes early keeps you calm and prepared. You’ll also notice that, just because you arrived several minutes earlier, you will have greater learning opportunities.
- Remember it is a learning process; you are in a safe and perfect environment to learn from highly skilled professionals and kind patients. You will not be an expert at lumbar punctures, diagnosing aortic stenosis, taking a history or examining a patient on the first day! These are skills you will learn and continue to master throughout medical school and even after you start working as a doctor. Do not be too hard on yourself, enjoy it.