After spending countless hours in and out of classroom learning everything you possibly can about medicine, its time to get hands-on experience. This experience will prove to be valuable in later years of medical school and future job placement. For the IMG (International Medical Graduate), an externship could help them get the required clinical experience that he or she needs for residency programs.
These are a few tips that will help you succeed in your externship:
Be Confident. Being in a new setting could cause you to be uneasy and doubt your abilities. Being confident could be the edge you need to show your true potential. Don’t let your nervousness be the reason you make a mistake, there are medical professionals all around you that are willing to help. If you show that you’re confident in what you are doing it will help put the patient at ease and make the experience go smoothly.
Ask Questions. This is your first line of defense against making mistakes that can put lives at risk. If you are unsure of anything, ask a medical professional that you are working with for help. Be sure to write down any important information that you will need in the future. Remember that this is a chance to test your technical skills and its okay if you make a mistake. If you do make a mistake don’t keep it to yourself ask for help, this will insure that the mistake gets fixed quickly and properly.
Be Professional. There is no impression like a first impression. You must put your best foot forward to show your true self, this means showing up on time, looking professional, and being ready to work. Try to avoid drama and coworker’s personal matters; it will only lead to problems. There will be people that you are working with that will have many years of work experience. It is important to show your respect not only to the residents but also to all the hospital staff, and most importantly the patients. Being well put together and organized will help you succeed in your externship.
Make the Most of Your Experience. Your externship is about 6-8 weeks, which is not a long time to gain experience. It is important not to miss any days for this reason, because every second that you are gaining hands-on experience is priceless. You never want to be lazily siting around waiting for something to happen. Be proactive about checking on your patients and getting all of your responsibilities done. You will have to be prepared to adapt because the information that you learned in medical school may not always be the same as they are on site. The nurses and physicians may do things differently then the way you were taught. Be sure to ask questions and to follow protocols. Setting aside time get your work done is also very important, if this means that you have to show up early then be there early and get a jump on all the work that is ahead of you for the day. This will only prepare you better if any questions arise in either in a meeting or with a patient.
Know your patient. It is very important that you get as much information about your patient as possible. This will help you, and everyone else you are working with, stay up to date and help if a problem arises. Working, as a team, with the medical professionals in your practices will ensue that the patient receives the best care possible. Your most important priority is the patient and everything else comes after.