Out rotation helpful hints
As a foreign graduate, you must make yourself stick out at all costs. The goal is to get residency interviews. The best way is to do visiting rotations at hospitals where they have a residency program you are interested. Fight the temptation to stay in your comfort zone at your base hospital with your friends and attendings you know. If possible, every 4th year rotation should be at a different hospital. Do not do different rotations at the same hospital. The reason for this is that if you do well on your first rotation, you can only mess it up on the second one.
Tips to keep in mind:
1. Do one elective per hospital. Of course leave a good impression
2. Show up early, stay late. Do not make excuses your first day that you got lost, could not find parking, etc
3. Remember that everybody is important. Irritate the program coordinator and you will be blackballed. Irritate a nurse, secretary, etc, and word will spread
4. Similar to 3, do not let your guard down. Even if you get to know some of the residents well do not start revealing intimate secrets or stories about getting wasted, chicks you banged etc
5. Read up on the program prior to your arrival. Every program and every resident wants to feel special so point out the uniqueness of their program
6. Eat lunch with the residents, program directors, chairmen, etc. Do not eat alone or with other students. If the residents feel you fit in, you are one step ahead of the other students. Time and time again at my residency I see all the students cling together when they could easily spend quality time with the residents
7. Do not text during business hours. If it is urgent, go ahead but preface it with hey, sorry I have to take a minute to text my wife, school, etc for .
8. Make yourself present. If they tell you you can go study because there is downtime, dont do it somewhere else, do it where the residents sit. Ask to help. Scrub in procedures even if you end up doing nothing. You will never get asked to do anything if you are not scrubbed in.
9. Ask intelligent questions. Whoever came up with the phrase there are no such things as stupid questions was wrong. There are certain things you should know and if you do not, look them up. Be aware of residents time. I was with one student who kept us an extra hour on a friday with lots of stupid questions.
10. Thank the program director and your attendings on your last couple days. I gave small gifts to folks as well such as bags of popcorn, boxes of chocolate, etc with hand written thank you cards. Also, thank the nurses, other residents, and other staff who were helpful. You could buy a big bin of popcorn with a thank you note for all the nurses and put it in the nurses station.
11. Keep in touch with folks via meaningful emails. Dont send pictures of family vacations but do send articles of relevance or relevant patient stories where something the attending taught you came in handy
12. Apply for the residency on day 1. If you wait, it looks suspicious and you may have ruined the good work you put in.
13. If the residents ask you to go out at night with them (or attendings)or for lunch, do it even if you had plans or packed your own lunch. Do not get drunk or smoke. Do not drink at all if you are driving. Do not try to pick up women/men when you are out. Remember that even these outings are like interviews.
14. Do not pick your nose, burp, fart, etc in places with other people. I say this because I have seen people do it. Even if another resident does it, it does not give you an open door to do it. Same goes for foul language. No one will ever criticize you for not swearing.