Resource Roundup: Third Year Advice for Current Second Years

Third Year Advice RoundupThird Year Advice Round-Up

Most of the class of 2018 are in the midst of board studying, stealing a precious moment to take a break and browse the web. Before you get back to doing practice questions we’d like to promise you that third year is so much better than the pre-clinical years. One hundred percent better. It’s like a darn party in comparison. If you’re nervous, don’t worry – we’ve compiled some of the basic third year advice for you here.

However, is it also a difficult transition into a new environment. Many haven’t been inside a hospital or clinic for the past two years; you won’t feel ready and your first week will be tough. Most of you are desperate for information, hoping to arm yourself against the new and unknown, to give the illusion of knowledge. We’ve compiled a spectrum of articles, and included some of the most positive and negative quotes from each. While we recommend you read all the linked articles, we feel obligated to remind you to get off the web and back to board studying. Seriously. GO DO QBANK QUESTIONS.

  • AAFP Expectations in Medicine
    • The hours are often long, the expectations are high
    • When the year is over, you will have gained a better understanding of the art and science of medicine, tested your limits, identified some of your strengths and weaknesses, and, hopefully, you will have found your calling.
  • KevinMD Dr. Brandt’s Practical advice for medical students starting clinical rotations
    • Come early, stay late and keep moving
    • …the first time you set a fracture or hear a murmur of aortic stenosis will be the only “first time” you have.  It’s a special world you are entering.   You’ll want to remember it by taking notes, recording stories
  • Medscape 10 Unwritten Rules About Surviving the Third Year
    • Even if you are tired after a grueling 12-hour surgery shift, make it a point to read for at least 1 hour every night and catch up more on weekends.
    • Do not take anything that happens in the hospital personally.
  • Kaplan Four Things You Should Know Before Your Third Year
    • There are only 24 hours in the day, and it’s not uncommon to be at the hospital for 12 of those hours
    • When you end your rotation, it’s frustrating to start over, but if you can be comfortable with being uncomfortable, those transitions will become a breeze and no longer cause you any anxiety.
  • Dr. Leung’s How to Survive the Third Year of Medical School: Common Pitfalls
    • ..being present provides more material to write about while being absent leaves the resident with little to say in favor of the student.
    • commit to an answer or decision and yet still remain flexible to learning and changing
  • U of Pittsburgh’s Third Year Survival Guide
    • You may feel [the urge] to sleep a little longer in the morning and spend less time pre-rounding. Resist the urge.
    • The more you act like an intern, the better you will do, and the more you will learn.
    • If your resident tells you to go home, go home!

By Pixie


Pixie is happiest reading with a cup of tea in hand. She enjoys women’s health, adolescent medicine, painting and polymer clay. For more info, see her much longer bio on the author page.

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