Medical School Rotation: Family Medicine Clerkship

28 December 2014

*Disclaimer: My experience on every rotation I post is very site-specific. It may not necessarily apply to your clerkships. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless.

My Family Medicine rotation was quite a blast. I had the opportunity to work in a private practice, and hence accumulated a lot of participation on a variety of patient cases. The doctor was also very keen on getting me to interact and exam people; getting my hands dirty. By the second day I was removing staples, irrigating ears, and giving everyone their flu or Prevnar shot. I got to see all the patients on my own, and on Thursdays I was sent to the Rheumatology clinic to work with another physician (and a second patient population - all suffering from different autoimmune diseases).

What I Liked:
- Meeting entire families and being the go-to-doc for everyone
- Official collector of information and making test results and diseases more understandable for patients
- Everyone had a different medical issue, so it was not monotonous
- There was a mixture of touching patients (physical exams, shots, etc) versus listening (depression follow-ups, ADHD med adjustments, etc)
- Seeing a 9-day-old followed by a 90-year-old!
- Brushing up on a wide array of medications
- Learning about autoimmune diseases, presentations and meds.
- Being with amazing staff, and one of the best doctor's I've ever worked with.
- Nice hours; having a life is great.
- For many of these patients, you are more than just a doctor, you are extended family!

What I Disliked
- When patients get very sick, or pass away, a family doc is much more emotionally attached to that patient.
- Not being able to see the follow-ups of the interesting cases because the get referred.
- I wish I had more knowledge to do the above.
- It got tedious when there was a ton of physicals for healthy people. Unfortunately, for medical students, healthy people are le boring. (I feel terrible saying that. However, they are such a huge inspiration, especially if they got to the level they did due to major changes in diet, exercise and medication compliance. It really keeps you going, nice and optimistic).

How I Studied
We had the FMCases final exam, not an NBME.
- I did all 40 cases, and then wrote notes on the pdf summary files. I put them in sheet protectors and only took a few with me at a time to study with during breaks. It was great for keeping liquids off my notes.
- The day before the exam I completed all the assessment questions for each case (~200Q's)
- Throughout the rotation I read all of the Case Files for Family Medicine textbook
- In my pocket notebook where I take notes on my patients, I also wrote tons of information and taped several drug lists. This was great for the exam!

Coke is the best for keeping me awake while studying. Coffee is hit or miss!

image source: click on pics!


  1. I love your rotation reviews and how you write about what you like and dislike. And your study tips will be so useful for next year! Thanks for these, and enjoy your holiday! :)

  2. Thank you for following my on instagram, that way I was able to find your awesome blog and i'm already following! ;)
    It's so great to find another fellow blogger and med student :) I really enjoyed your rotation reviews, it looks like they let you do tons of stuff!
    I'm portuguese and studying in Barcelona (spain) and i'm at my final year. In our rotations they let us do many things but only if you are lucky to get a good doctor that will let you. Right now I'm also rotating with a family doctor that lets me visit patients alone and that's great! :)
    Much luck with everything, we'll keep in touch! :)



Thanks for stopping by. À plus mes belles!

Latest Instagrams

© Belle Chantelle. Design by FCD.