The Essentials

What to Have in White Coat

  1. Stethoscope
  2. Reflex Hammer (not needed on psych)
  3. Pen light (not needed on psych)
  4. Snack
  5. Foldable Clipboard
  6. Notebook
  7. Tablet/Smartphone
  8. Pocket Medicine (IM especially, but was useful on other rotations)
  9. Sutures/Ties (surgery and OB)

General Texts/Resources for Rotations

  • Pocket Medicine by Massachusetts General Hospital Handbook of Internal Medicine (purple/orange book)
  • UpToDate
    • Most hospitals have subscriptions. If not, check your school’s library electronic resources. They probably have it.
  • OnlineMedEd
  • Review Books (pick 1)
  • COMBank – Level 2 Qbank and/or COMAT qbanks
    • questions are almost identical to shelf exam questions
  • UWorld
  • MedFools
    • Has lots of helpful templates for tracking patient progress as well as note examples
  • MDPocket reference guides – I found it to be very helpful when I needed a quick answer. I’m getting a new one here pretty soon.
  • Evernote – I have it on my computer and phone. I have notebook called “Inbox”. Things that come up throughout the day that I want/need to look up, or the condition my patient has, I make a new note for each in my Inbox notebook. Then when I come home I pick 1 or 2 to expand upon and put in the appropriate notebook (mine are system based).
  • Symptoms to Diagnosis
    • One of my senior residents just recommended this to me and it sounds great, especially for constructing a differential diagnosis

Useful Apps:

Bolded are one I use
Epocrates Essentials AHRQ ePSS Micromedex
UpToDate Ob (Pregnancy) Wheel iRadiology
Medscape Figure 1 (for down time) Dyanmed
MedCalc (iOS only) Standard Dictations Diagnosaurus DDx
Calculate (QxMD)


  • AM Report – A case presentation done by a student, resident or attending @ 7AM in the trailer (except for Friday)
  • “Running the List” – You sit with your team and discuss all your patients including pre-rounding info (see below) if in the AM or events of the day including labs, tests, procedures if done at the end of the day. So know everything you can about your patients before this happens. Doesn’t always happen, but be ready. Happens on surgery and IM
  • Pre-rounds – Look at AM labs, AM vitals, nursing notes from overnight, and last progress note (if the pt wasn’t yours) before you meet with the team first thing. If you can see the patient before running the list, that is ideal. Make sure to read the H&P if you don’t know it. Print a patient summary if you want. Attempt developing an A/P.
  • Rounds – You go from patient to patient and present to your attending and then do a PE with your attending
  • M&M –  Morbidity and Mortality lecture is when a resident presents a case where something went wrong and there is something to be learned from it
  • Grand Rounds – Occur once a week or so. Each service will have one during the month. It is an opportunity for each service to teach everyone about a certain topic. The style of this presentation varies from Jeopardy to a normal PPT presentation

Essential Abbreviations:

fish bones