A whole new world opened up in July for third-year medical students at the University of Hawai’i Manoa’s John A. Burns School of Medicine, as the Class of 2013 began its clinical rotations at The Queen’s Medical Center, Kuakini Medical Center, Kapi’olani Medical Center for Women and Children and Tripler Army Medical Center, all JABSOM’s community-based clinical training partners. This was the students’ last week to practice their skills solely on their own turf, inside their personal comfort zone at the Medical Education Building at Kaka’ako.
Third year is arguably the most challenging in medical school. The Office of Medical Education ran Transition to Clerkship workshops which stretched over a week to give the aspiring physicians some last-minute advice–and to build their confidence. Preparation included brushing up on giving injections (yes, they bleed for their profession), taking part in morning rounds, and reporting their findings to the MD in charge, getting fitted for mandatory emergency respiratory masks and practicing how to slide in and out of their medical gloves and gowns with ease. In an “Ambulatory Clinic” set up in the Center for Clinical Skills, the students took turns posing as the patient and the doctor as they encountered three ailments: a sore throat, hypertension and back pain. The student doctors took notes, formulated their diagnoses, then presented their findings to JABSOM MD faculty in one-on-one sessions. The following week, as the clinical rotations began…their experience in medicine was one step closer to being “fo’ real”.