Get Ready for Residency in Internal Medicine

You are a second year medical student interested in Hospital Medicine? Doubting on what specific electives to consider at your 4th year of med school? Wondering how to get better prepared for future Internal Medicine residency?

Well, a great question! Lets figure it out.

As a 3rd year medical student you will have cool clinical rotations in different disciplines – family medicine, pediatrics, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, bloodless surgery and internal medicine.
Also you will have limited electives options within each core curriculum clinical rotation. Don’t care too much about these electives, because anything will do.

When you are a 4th year medical student you finally have an option to choose electives by yourself. And there occurs a question: what electives to choose if you’re dreaming of becoming a Hospitalist? So here is my advice for all medical students planning on doing residency in Internal Medicine.

WHAT ELECTIVES TO CHOOSE?

1. Radiology. It’s an interesting and exciting rotation. You will learn to read X-rays, get acquainted with radiographic signs of various diseases. Of course, you won’t read your own CTs and MRIs in real life. Nevertheless, it’s important to have a good sense of what you’re looking at on rounds. 

2. Electrophysiology cardiology. Why? EKG is very important. Try to do your best in “reading” EKG/ECG, it’s a “must have” skill for specialist in Internal Medicine. After completing the rotation you will understand the diagnosis and management of arrhythmias, become skilled in managing and following-up patients with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators.


3. Gross anatomy. This is one of the hardest educational experiences in life of every medical student. Nothing can prepare you for tons of information you have to memorize in first week of your medical school. 4th year students have already accustomed to giant amounts of information, that’s why Gross Anatomy rotation is a bit easier.Not the most interesting rotation, perhaps... But our goal in Top Internal Medicine residency. Remember it!

4. Dermatology. It’s the only field in medicine where you have to remember just two medications: a steroid cream and an antibiotic cream. Remember this advice and you’ll get A+. Our aim is Internal Medicine residency, and if you become a Hospitalist one day you’ll understand why any inpatient dermatology consult will always result in the same answer. If it’s dry, make it wet. If it’s wet, make it dry. In either case, they’ll get an order for a steroid cream and an antibiotic.

5. Rheumatology. Another not too fascinating rotation. However, clear understanding of rheumatology with all its lupus and fibromyalgias will help you to get Internal Medicine residency. Isn’t it our aim? Rheumatology is a classic medical sub-specialty in Internal Medicine. By the conclusion of this elective, you will be more comfortable with the overall approach to the rheumatic patient.

6. Choose anything outpatient. Doesn’t matter what. But try to avoid lengthy inpatient rotations where you’re in the hospital until midnight every night.

7. Do a moth or even two of research. Your hаndicаp hаs a few morе strokеs to go before the big spring scramble.

8. Take a month of sick leave. Or get pregnаnt аnd tаke a month off for mаternity leаve. I think both, if they aren’t already, will be аvаilable to you by the time you bеcomе a fourth yеar mеdicаl studеnt. Becаuse you’ve been working too hard for two years and Аmerica thinks it isn’t fаir.
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