Rounds to Residency

Communication, Goals, and Finances in Clinical Medical Education with Andrew Tisser MD

Dr. Andrew Tisser talks about communicating with teammates in a clinical setting, selecting a specialty, and how to match into a good residency program.

  • [02:14] Teamwork in a Clinical Rotation
  • [04:31] How to Choose a Specialty
  • [09:42] Tips for Residency Applications
  • [12:41] Goal-Setting Strategies
  • [16:57] Financial Tips for Medical Residents
  • [22:32] Tips to Prepare for a Career in Academic Medicine
  • [24:38] How to Contact Dr. Tisser

Dr. Andrew Tisser, an emergency physician and the host of the podcast Talk2MeDoc, and offers physician coaching and career consultation.

Teamwork in a Clinical Rotation

Dr. Tisser encourages medical students on a clinical rotation to involve everyone on the team not just doctors. For example, nurses are often better than doctors at tasks such as putting in IVs. If medical students have a free moment during a shift, they should ask the nurses to teach them a skill. This makes nurses feel empowered and improves the skills of the medical student. Dr. Tisser warns that if you enrage one senior nurse, you are in a lot of trouble because they strongly influence physician opinions.

Choosing a Specialty

In choosing a specialty, Dr. Tisser encourages medical students to maintain an open mind. Medical students should have a comprehensive list of all possible specialties, and then cross things off, always noting the reason that they have excluded a given specialty. It is easy to decide against a specialty based on a bad experience with the attending preceptor, or other coincidental reasons. Instead, exclude specialties based on inherent traits of the specialty that are incompatible with your preferences. For example, if you strongly dislike being in an operating room (OR), then you can exclude a large chunk of specialties, including obstetrics-gynaecology (OB-GYN), and all the surgical subspecialties.

Tips for Residency Applications

Dr. Tisser offers two primary tips for how to be competitive for residency:

  1. Get strong letters of recommendation. Be sure to ask your preceptor if he/she can write you a strong recommendation, rather than just a mediocre recommendation.
  2. Apply broadly. Be open to moving to new geographical locations for the sake of a good residency program.

Goal-Setting Strategies

Dr. Tisser advocates the SMART (specific-measurable-attainable-relevant-time bound) framework for setting goals and achieving them. He encourages medical students to look at their past experiences of success and failure. What were the beliefs which led them to successful outcomes? What were the beliefs that led them to disappointing outcomes? Then, attempt to replicate the beliefs from the successful outcomes to the current situation. In addition, Dr. Tisser recommends the technique of writing your goals down as if you had already achieved them (in the past or present tense). Doing this can help you to visualize success, a method which has often been used by successful athletes.

Financial Tips for Medical Residents

Dr. Tisser shares three key financial tips for residents:

  1. Get on a federal loan repayment plan. These federal plans will allocate your payment amount depending on your income. And although private loan refinancing options can be tempting, with all the uncertainty in the US at the moment, it is safer to stick with a federal loan.
  2. Avoid credit card debt. It can be difficult, but it is good to avoid this for the sake of your attending years.
  3. Get disability insurance. If anything were to happen to you, preventing you from practicing medicine, the $5000 a month would be invaluable.

Tips to Prepare for a Career in Academic Medicine

To prepare for a career in academic medicine, interested residents and medical students should participate in projects that deal with the science of learning and educating. If such programs do not exist at their institution, the interested student/resident should initiate a program.

Listen to Dr. Tisser’s podcast Talk2MeDoc. Learn more about Dr. Tisser Tisser on his website. Check out his LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter profiles.

Sign up for a Free Coaching session with Chase DiMarco, sponsored by Prospective Doctor! You can also join the Med Mnemonist Mastermind FB Group today and learn more about study methods, memory techniques, and MORE

Chase DiMarco

Chase DiMarco is an MS, MBA-HA and MD/Ph.D-candidate. He is the founder of MedEd University, a free medical education resource, the host of the Medical Mnemonist & Rounds to Residency podcasts creator of several medical education platforms, and CEO of FindARotation clinical rotations service.

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