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The University of South Alabama College of Medicine recently held clerkship orientation for third-year medical students. Orientation week gave the students an introduction to their clinical years and included briefings on topics ranging from hospital policies to mini board exams.
This is the fourth class of students in the USA College of Medicine to use the re-designed curriculum. Students receive instruction in all competencies from the beginning of their educational experience. Milestones of achievement toward competency will be evaluated and documented throughout the course of the four years leading to graduation.
“We have been in the classroom for two years now, so it is definitely a comfort zone,” said Audrey Murphy, a third-year student at the USA College of Medicine. “I am most excited for the opportunity to interact with patients and putting the knowledge I have accumulated during the last two years to use.”
As she adjusts to the learning curve presented by the transition from the classroom to the clinical setting, Murphy said she plans to improve her skills and learn from these experiences. “I came to medical school because I enjoy working with people and supporting them on their best and worst days,” she said. “I am excited to start out in obstetrics and gynecology because I have been interested in that specialty for a while now. However, I am also excited to learn about specialties that I have never been exposed to before.”
Peter Oaks, another third-year medical student at the USA College of Medicine, said he is greatly looking forward to the increased patient interaction and establishing patient rapport. “At this point in our training we have very few useful clinical skills, as we cannot prescribe drugs or perform surgery,” he said. “However, one thing we can do is listen to our patients and lend a sympathetic ear.”
Oaks said he is equally excited to participate in his rotations. “I have heard it said many times that upon reaching the world outside of medical school, people don’t always assign certain levels of clinical knowledge to you based on your specialty,” he said. “Rather, they expect you to know a bit about everything. For this reason, I strive to be alert and studious in all of my clerkships. South provides a very supporting, positive and nurturing environment. I know my time here will be well spent.”
“I am excited and nervous about the new responsibilities the third year brings,” said medical student Hilda Watkins. “To me, working in the hospital with patients will help the information learned during the first two years become more meaningful and applicable.”
Watkins said alleviating patient’s pain and helping them cope during difficult health situations is why she chose to be a doctor. “Even though the work will be different and difficult, I look forward to gaining additional skills and knowledge, which will shape me into the physician I have always dreamed of becoming.”
Before beginning orientation, the students received their white coats at the annual White Coat Ceremony at the USA Mitchell Center.
Click here to view more photos from orientation.
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