Tag: clinical rotations

Leigh Finnegan (3 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania


Leigh Finnegan is an MS3 at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 with a degree in English and mathematics. She enjoys cooking vegetarian food, running on the Schuylkill River Trail, and watching unhealthy amounts of television.




Transitioning to the Clinical Years: Be A Duck

“Be a duck,” became my mantra throughout medical school, so much so that my mother had it printed onto a canvas and has it hanging on a wall at home in my honor. As a medical student you might think I would be more interested in having the prowess of a lioness, the elegance of an eagle, the speed of a cheetah or the energy of a dolphin. A duck, as most envision it, does not have much appeal; except, however, when swimming. The quote that led me to emulate the duck is Michael Caine’s, “Be a duck, remain calm on the surface and paddle like the dickens underneath.”

My First Ethical Dilemma

It was Friday of the seventh week of my family medicine clerkship. I was tired. Tired from the day and, honestly, tired from the clerkship. I was ready for a change of pace. The next patient was Mr. S., a 30-year-old male, here for an establish care visit. I did not recognize the name. I reviewed his chart before the encounter, two visits in the system, both to the ER for cocaine-induced angina. I stereotyped him immediately. Not that this was right, but I did. I think everyone does.

Seven Habits of Highly Effective Clinical Students by Rishi Kumar, MD

Congratulations! You’ve made it to the clinical portion of medical school. Now you’ll work alongside interns, residents, attendings, pharmacists, social workers, and a myriad of other health care workers to provide quality care for your patients. As a resident, I’ve seen medical and PA students struggle with feelings of anxiety, incompetence and disorganization. They are excellent with patients, but often have difficulty with team dynamics and understanding their roles as clinical students. Here are some tips for success modeled after Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Reflections of a Long, Long Longitudinal Clerkship

Once upon a time, in a rural hospital far, far away, a med student began her clerkship. At the University of British Columbia, the Integrated Community Clerkship (ICC) provides an opportunity to spend the first clinical year of medical school in a hospital in rural British Columbia rather than a large academic center. The intent is to provide hands-on education and to encourage physicians to one day return to serve a rural community. Applying to the ICC was …

For You Bike Commuters: Six Things I Learned From Two Wheels

Let me start off by saying that I don’t think of myself as a hardcore cyclist: I don’t own multiple bikes, I am not on Strava, and I don’t own a single cycling kit or jersey. In fact, outside of my commute to the hospitals, errand runs and trips to friends’ places, I don’t really ride my bike. I started cycling to work during my clerkship year in medical school, partly as a way to …

How to Find the Strength to Keep Going: Words of Advice from a Third-Year

It’s 4 a.m., and I’m sitting in the student call room eating dinner during a particularly busy night. A burrito has never tasted this good. Here’s the truth: medical school isn’t glamorous. More often than not, it involves long hours and late nights. There will be days where you come home and fall asleep before eating dinner. There will be 10-hour surgical cases with no bathroom breaks and mornings where rounds take five hours. You will …

A Letter to Third-Year Medical Students

Dear freshly-crowned MS3s, Congratulations on making it to the best part of medical school! I hope that it has finally sunk in that classes and labs are over, and most importantly, you are on the other side of Step 1. It is finally time to take all of the facts that you learned from a textbook and apply them to a real-life person. It is the moment we all wait for and the reason we …

A Letter to Myself, Future Resident, on Dealing with Myself, Current Medical Student

Dear (future) self, I imagine that you’re busy right now. Like really busy. Like the coffee-driven, adrenaline-fueled, sleep-deprived kind of busy that you experienced to a lesser degree in medical school except now you’re actually expected to care for patients. Of course, by “care for patients,” I mean “avoid doing dumb things to patients.” A terrifying thought, the burden of patient care, but I’m sure you’re learning and becoming more confident by the day. Why, …

Lindsay Heuser (2 Posts)

Contributing Writer Emeritus

University of Colorado School of Medicine


Lindsay is a member of the Class of 2015 at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. She is originally from Colorado Springs and earned a BA in chemistry from Bowdoin College. She plans on pursuing a career in psychiatry.