Types of Medical Students

There are a variety of personality types among medical students. Some have a “people-orientation” while others exhibit less of it. Some have a “people-orientation” but still demonstrate a passion for medicine. While they may have trouble expressing their passion for medicine, they show an uncanny ability to engage with people and engage in numerous extracurricular activities. While the majority of medical students are people-oriented, there are a few types that are not so different from one another.

Surgical assistants and physician assistants, for example, work in operating rooms and perform clinical skills. They are members of a healthcare team and learn clinical skills by observing residents. Surgical assistants have shelf exams that are less stressful than Step 1, but they still have to pass the Step 1 and the Step 2CK. Compared to Step 1, the Shelf exam, or Step 2CK, is similar to the Step 1 but tests students’ knowledge of concepts from their third-year in medical school and the concepts learned during their rotation in internal medicine.

Most medical students undergo a series of core rotations throughout their studies. Each student will complete a number of core rotations, or electives, throughout their training. Third-year students will likely do rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, and general surgery. They will also work closely with interns by seeing patients and presenting on rounds. And as they progress, the third-year medical student will have the opportunity to specialize in an area of medicine.

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