I recently precepted a soon-to-be senior student and observed a few things that I feel the need to point out to fellow students in training, so that you don’t make the same mistakes in front of your preceptors. My goal of writing this post is to help you do well and succeed in your clinical rotation.
We as preceptors wanted to see you being assertive and confident. Even if you are not confident about your plan, you need to act as if you are. You don’t want to pull up patient’s profile while you do time-out to confirm patient’s allergy. Even worse, telling the surgical team the wrong allergies during time-out. Similarly, you don’t want to act like you don’t remember patient’s PMH and give report while reading your chi chi sheet. These are two big no-nos. It make the preceptor wonder whether you actually did homework on the cases you are doing. We as preceptors have different comfort level and if we feel that you didn’t do your homework and you don’t remember patient’s allergies and PMH, we may feel you may not be able to provide safe anesthesia to patients. The third no-no is not to owe up to your mistake — it demonstrates your maturity. We all make mistakes and that’s part of learning process. If you make a mistake, just owe up to it and say that you will make sure it won’t happen again. I understand that it is our human nature/tendency to come up excuses but we are not here to learn about the possible causes; Instead we care about the outcomes. Therefore,please do not come up with excuses/reasons for making mistakes.
I hope this message finds you well. We generally don’t like criticism/feedbacks, but sometimes if you could take some good feedbacks seriously, you would be surprised. I was in your shoes in the past, and some feedbacks helped me tremendously in my training. I hope you would find it helpful as I once did. Happy holidays and have a good winter break!