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Guide to Clinical Rotations

Welcome to your clinical rotations! I'll be adding my tips and tricks along with resources that I've used throughout rotations which I hope will be useful. I'll be discussing professionalism, attire, tools I used, and resources which can help you shine during rotations. Enjoy! 

  1. Professionalism

    • Always wear your short white coat with your ID

    • Wear the correct attire as directed by the hospital 

    • Arrive early

      • "Arriving on time means you're late and arriving early means you're on time!"

      • Try to get to your designated department/meeting place about 15 minutes early (especially if it is orientation day or your first day of the rotation) in order to get acquainted 

    • No cell phone use

    • Clean fingernails 

      • Painted nails are okay as long as they aren't chipped​ and are short

      • Long acrylic nails are NOT okay 

    • Coffee 

      • Most of your rotations will require you to come in early for rounds

      • I never suggest bringing coffee in your thermos but this ultimately depends on hospital policy

      • some will let you bring your thermos but before rounds, you must put it away ​

      • best tip is to drink coffee before or after rounds 

    • Always remember: you are a representation of your medical school and your school does work hard in creating networks for students and allowing to have students rotate in the hospital

  2. Attire
    • Males

      • collared shirt, slacks/dress pants, close toed shoes (no sneakers), tie or bowtie 

    • Females

      • collared shirt, nice blouse that doesn't show your cleavage or stomach, slacks/dress pants, close toed shoes (no sneakers)

      • wearing a skirt or dress is okay as long as it is past your knees 

    • White Coat - down to the gluteal fold (bottom of your butt cheek)

  3. Tools

    • Hover over the photo below to see links to where I bought some of the tools I used! ​

  • Tumblr - Grey Circle
  • Instagram - Grey Circle
  • LinkedIn - Grey Circle

Kandria Ledesma, MD

Emergency Medicine resident

NJ -> Antigua -> NY -> CA

Medicine, Running, Birds, Plants, Food, Dinos 


3 cups


1½ cups


Trauma shears




Tuning fork

Reflex hammer



pen +



​​    4. Other resources

  • These include the components of a patient note along with resources for more information and practice

    • How to write a full patient note ** Also good for CS practice

      • CC - chief complaint: why is the patient here?

      • HPI stands for history of present illness which entails the details regarding the chief complaint

      • If they have pain, use the mnemonic OPQRST (onset of pain, provoking factors, quality of pain, region and radiation, symptoms associated with the pain, time)

      • ROS - a full head to toe list of other systems the patient has along with the chief complaint and associated symptoms mentioned in the HPI

      • Physical exam - includes vitals first followed by examinations findings under the following areas: Constitutional, HEENT, Neck, Back, CVS, Lungs, Abdomen, GU, MSK, Neuro, Psych

      • Assessment and Plan - what do we think the patient has and what do we want to do for them; what medications do want to order, what imaging or labs do we want to order; do we need to consult any department?

      • Links: Intro to Patient Notes, Examples of H&P, and H&P Practice 

    • How to write a SOAP note

      • SOAP stands for Subjective, Objective, Assessment and Plan

      • These aren’t full H&P notes but are progress notes

      • Subjective stands for how the patient is doing today

      • Objective are Labs, Imaging, Vitals and what you find on physical exam

      • Assessment/Plan - the possible diagnosis and the next steps in management

      • Links: SOAP Note Format and Writing a SOAP Note


Dino of the Month: Carnotaurus

Plant of the Month: Nepenthes Attenboroughii

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