Medical School Rotation #2 Reflections: Internal Medicine

Hi everyone! In this post, I’ll share what I liked and didn’t like about my internal medicine (IM) rotation as well as how I ranked IM as a speciality I’m interested in!

If you’re interested in knowing what to expect for your IM rotation, check out my other post here!

What did I like most about this specialty? 

My favorite part of IM was the critical thinking component! I enjoyed the process of gathering a patient’s clinical information and using my problem-solving skills to come up with a diagnosis and treatment plan.

I love that internal medicine doctors are the leaders in the patient’s care- meaning that they can consult other specialties to get their recommendations but are the ones in charge of putting together all the pieces and managing the patient’s condition as a whole. Whereas other specialties evaluate organ systems independently, internal medicine doctors thoroughly consider the function of all organ systems. In general, they evaluate the bigger picture in the patient’s condition, which I loved! Also, since they are at the center of the patient’s care, they see the patient from start to finish, which I valued.

I loved the people, personalities, and work environment! Compared to ob/gyn which was very fast-paced with less time to teach, the teaching environment of IM is more conducive to medical student education. The residents and attendings I worked with on IM were extremely helpful and loved to share their knowledge. Some of the greatest teachers and professional role models I had were during this rotation! I think the ability to teach others translates well to patient care as many of the physicians I worked with had amazing bedside manners and educated their patients well on their condition.

What did I like least about this specialty?

Long rounds.

No (or minimal) procedures. This is a big one for me!

Lots of time spent on ‘secretary work,’ (although I recognize administrative work as being an issue for medicine in general). Since IM doctors are at the center of patient’s care, they’re tasked with coordinating all the different consult recommendations, following up on imaging/labs, planning for discharge like coordinating with social work for nursing home placement, etc.

Did this clinical rotation give me a good sense of what practice in this specialty would be like?

I believe so.

Has my perception of this specialty changed based on my clinical rotation experiences?

Yes, I didn’t know what to IM doctors did, but this rotation gave me great exposure to it. As someone who will likely pursue a subspecialty, I now understand what happens from the front end when a physician calls for a specialty consult.

Did my clinical rotation experience influence the likelihood of choosing a career in this specialty? 

Yes. There are many great components to this speciality, but it was missing the hand-ons component I’m looking for.

Right now, how interested am I in this specialty as a career option? (On a scale of 0-10)

I loved the people I met, the clinical knowledge I gained, and the critical thinking I developed during this rotation. IM is a very appealing specialty. However, as mentioned, it’s missing something I value in a career!

I would rate my interest in internal medicine as a 5/10!

Thanks for reading!

What else do you guys want to hear about my IM rotation?! Let me know and I’ll share! 🙂


1 Comment

  1. Sue Nettle
    10/25/2020 / 5:00 am

    I genuinely enjoy reading your blog posts!

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