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Some of you may be curious as to what actually happens after you finish in DIFC and get into medical school.

Do we immediately go into clinically related materials? Do we immediately start dissecting cadavers on the first day?

Unfortunately, it is not the same as what you may have seen on television. I am currently in my third year of medical school and I have just started the fun part – clinical rotations. After three years of being in lecture halls learning the basics that we needed to know before entering the clinical years, we were finally able to wear our white coats proudly in hospitals, being on our feet, applying what we learned to the real life of a hospital setting. The most exciting part I found is, we get to meet different patients every day, learning something new after each encounter and going back with more stories that patients have shared with us.


As a doctor in training, we are trained to take a patient’s history every morning, also known as clerking. From asking how they are feeling to what their concerns are. Going into hospital wards, the nurses, interns and consultants fill the room, each person buzzing about the place with a million tasks to do. It can be intimidating being “at the bottom of the food chain”, trying to shadow the interns to absorbing as much information and techniques as you can but it is also encouraging to be able to talk to patients, write a clear flow of a patient’s history of why they’re admitted into the wards and to be able to have a sense of what it is like to have someone trust you with their lives. It is also motivating to be able to strengthen what we have learned in theory and apply it to the real world.

Doctor checking a patients blood pressure

The interns and nurses are more than happy to teach you simple procedures done in wards, reading case sheets and the skills and tricks to interact with patients. Being on your feet for 4-5 hours each morning may be draining but being able to come up with several diagnosis in your head and understanding how different systems in the body are linked makes it worthwhile.

So, don’t fret if you’re still learning the boring stuff first because once you start learning how to use the knowledge you have earned in lecture halls, clinical rotations are a great way to finally execute the basic sciences and foundation to the systems and diseases into the hospital setting.

I learnt that to be a good doctor, you need to possess the 4 “C’s” – compassion, communicating skills, convenience and competency. These are the characteristics of what a patient wants to see in their doctor. Being in clinical rotations teaches you these skills, learning proper bedside manner is as important as being able to list the 10 common medical symptoms. Don’t be afraid to be confident, efficiency is always a key trait to have with you at all time.

DIFC Ambassador Dawn Kaur

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