Wear the White Coat

In her last embryology lecture, the pediatric surgeon who has shown us the wonders of development (and things that can go wrong) over the last four blocks concluded her lecture as always – providing useful tips to survive medical school. One of the points she made this past week really hit home… almost as if she was talking directly to me.

“Wear the white coat,” she said. At first, I had no idea what that could remotely mean. After all, we literally wear our white coat only during professional, medical encounters, so there had to be some deeper meaning. What she was referring to was our clinical curriculum. Whenever we’re on a particular rotation, we should “wear the white coat” as a member of that field. If we’re doing peds, we’re pediatricians. Surgery? We’re surgeons. Ob/gyn? Yours truly will be an obstretrician/gynecologist for a few weeks.

It doesn’t matter if we love or hate a particular rotation, but we will learn to be a master of the field and take advantage of every opportunity it presents. I’m highly biased towards surgery, but a big part of me can’t wait to see those kids on the pediatrics rotation or the interesting conditions presented in the psychiatry ward. A lot of students end up changing their mind throughout the clinical years, so it’s good to go in with an open mind. 🙂

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