The hospital seems a little emptier. The line at the coffee bar may even be shorter. And there are more computers available in the library. Why? The 4th year medical students have graduated, or they will do so any day now. Congratulations to them!
And what does that mean for the current 3rd year medical students? These are essentially the senior-most students currently enrolled in the school, almost entering year 4. But you still have a bit more of year 3 yet to complete. Take a moment to think back on how far along you've come. What do you know now that you didn't know ~10 months ago? How have you changed? Compared to "you" last July, how do you now conduct yourself with patients and families? With peers, colleagues, residents, attendings, nurses? With significant other, spouse, children?
And, what can you offer the incoming (rising) 3rd year students? You will soon (or "again" for those who were teachers before med school) experience the joy of teaching, sharing what you know with those soon to be in your shoes. Helping them find their way around the hospital, present, write notes, provide clinical care. Even while you hone your skills further. It will become readily apparent how far you've come (but of course there is always more to learn!).
How will you spend the remaining weeks or months of this academic year? Are you fully immersed in your current clinical clerkship? Or perhaps you are having trouble focusing, only looking ahead to your future residency?
Some of you may be in the final clerkship of the year, only to find this (pediatrics) is
the field for you. No, it is not too late! You can likely still modify your 4th year schedule if need be. Why? If you want to gain more information before making your decision about what field to choose, which type of residency to apply to. If you want to confirm or test out some things. For pediatrics, you need not do an acting internship
(sub-internship) early in the year. Anything meaningful that you do early on will lay the groundwork for subsequent rotations. You don't need
to obtain a letter or recommendation during your AI. These letters can come from the first 3 years of medical school, from electives
, from fields other than pediatrics (just try to have at least 1 or 2 from pediatrics), from a research mentor, and/or an advisor on an advocacy project. There are plenty of pediatric faculty interested in advising you through the application process and there are always clerkship directors (!) who can help you find success.
Make the most of these final days of third year. You might get inspired as to what to write in your ERAS
personal statement (look for future posts on this). Maybe you have just one more exam during 3rd year. Then Step 2
with it's CK's and CS's. With each passing day (get it, passing?) comes more and more responsibility as you become "more" of a professional
. And while there are orientations and transitions and ceremonies along the way to becoming one, there's no compelling reason to hold back on holding yourselves to the highest degree of professionalism. You can be a model to others.