5 Things IMGs Should Do To Prepare for a U.S. Clinical Clerkship

Adjusting to a new program, in a new place, can make anyone anxious; but there are also easy ways to ensure a good fit for candidates before even arriving at their new destination. Oftentimes the hardest part of the program is adjusting to all the new procedures and practices, rather than actually learning the information. Setting yourself up for success can be as simple as making everyday adjustments easier, researching your program, and ultimately making sure that you’ve selected the best opportunity for your career.

1. Make Sure Your Program Is A Good Fit

While you’re sure to learn something from any program you agree to take, a little research into the specific curriculum and instructors can be beneficial in determining if you’ve made the right choice. By determining that you will be learning what best fits into your study, ensuring that the instructors are capable and have a teaching style you find effective, and that you will be able to expand your clinical network, success will be easy to find.

2. Brush Up On Your English Terminology

Everything moves quickly in American hospitals, and it is essential that a candidate must be able to adapt to that quick pace. One of the easiest ways to ensure that is by brushing up on your clinical terminology; especially if you are not a native English speaker. Giving yourself a few lessons on certain English phrases/terminology will be beneficial in communicating with your coworkers, your instructors, and your patients.

3. Bring Your Best From The Start

Work ethic is particularly important in determining the success or failure of your clinical clerkship in the US. Establishing from the start that you’re a hard-worker, a quick-learner, or even just willing to jump in when needed will put you off on a good foot with the rest of your team and help them to understand that you’re a valuable asset. While it is not required to be all, or any quite frankly, of those things, an emphasis on the quality of your work and a sense of ownership will create trust among those working with you on a daily basis.

4. Make Travel Easy

Something that few consider before making their big move is how far the commute from their job to their housing will be. A little research into your new city, the transportation systems it utilizes, and the neighborhoods close to your work assignment will save you from a grueling commute or living in a bad area. By considering these factors before you actually have to live them, you’re allowing yourself the opportunity to start each day strong and well-rested with an easy commute to work that doesn’t involve getting lost on your first day.

5. Expand Your Network

It goes without saying that each step taken to advance your career should also come with added efforts to expand your network. As most clinical clerkships, statistically, are provided by programs that know their candidates and the work ethic to expect from them, it is important to foster those connections. Staying connected with past instructors and other students from your clerkships and medical school classes is important to establishing a growing network of clinical professionals that can both vouch for your work ethic as well as potentially keep you in mind for future opportunities.

Of course there are always outside factors to consider, but by following these simple tips, it is guaranteed that your U.S. clinical clerkship will start off on a positive foot.

By simply setting yourself up for success, candidates are able to go into their program with a level headed approach that will ultimately benefit their work ethic.

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