Rocking rotations

November 2, 2010 —

Students in surgery lab

I’ll admit, working at DMU and seeing our students and high-tech facilities on a daily basis may make us a little biased about how amazing they are, but here is more proof that it’s true. Kate Robbens, a third-year D.O. student shares her thoughts about how the first two years of the doctor of osteopathic medicine program prepared her and her classmates for rotations in years three and four:

After just completing my first 3 months of rotations, I can say that I’ve loved every minute. I would attribute the smooth transition from the classroom to the clinical world to our curriculum during our first and second years. We work so hard, and it definitely pays off.

In my opinion, here are the top 5 activities that we, as DMU students, work tirelessly on during the first 2 years that put us heads above the rest:

  1. Surgery lab
    The hours you spend learning surgical etiquette, procedural skills, suturing and knot tying are extremely worthwhile. My surgeon and nurses were constantly impressed with the basic skills that we all learn as surgery students. The more competent you are in your skills, the more autonomy you get as a student. It’s definitely worth it when you are suturing during the closure of every surgery!
  2. SOAP notes
    This is a great way to show off your history and physical exam skills. A complete and organized note is worth its weight in gold to an attending or resident.
  3. Oral presentations
    Even though I still have a lot of work to do on a great oral presentation, I am thankful we had the opportunity to start practicing during SPALs. They say a good oral presentation is the mark of a good student, so you can never practice enough!
  4. Neuro exam
    I know ? the complete neuro exam list is LONG. However, a simple way to set yourself apart is to do your own version of a quick and complete neuro exam.
  5. Always ask for more…
    We are taught to always ask if there is anything else we can do to help. This is the fastest and easiest way to make friends with everyone on the health care team. Whether you are in the clinic, operating room or emergency department, there is always something to help out with, and you will inevitably learn something new.

Wanna learn more about the doctor of osteopathic medicine program?


Andrea Cooley gets paid to post on Facebook and Twitter (among other things) to promote Des Moines University to prospective students. She is a Midwest girl at heart, but loves to travel around the country visiting friends and family. If Des Moines had mountains or an ocean she’d never leave. Before joining the DMU marketing team, she was an editor for Country Home magazine. She’s still a little obsessed with magazines, so if you want to talk about decorating, remodeling or gardening projects she’s your go-to girl.

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