American Osteopathic Association

Advancing the distinctive philosophy and practice of osteopathic medicine

What to Expect in Clinical Rotations

​Clinical rotations are very important to your medical education. You can use this time to determine which specialty you will pursue. Try to keep an open mind. Go into every rotation with the stance that you’ve always wanted to study that specialty.

During your rotations, you will be graded on: your clinical skills; your rapport with the medical staff, interns, residents and other students; and your enthusiasm. Remember to request letters of recommendation from members of the medical staff who supervised you during your best rotations, especially the supervisor for the specialty you want to practice.

You may be wondering if you need liability coverage while on rotation. This is usually not a concern for students rotating at a hospital, since they are under the hospital’s watchful eye. The hospital is ultimately responsible for the osteopathic medical student’s actions. However, it is important to know how you are covered, either by the school, hospital or both. When completing a rotation in a program that interested you, be sure to make formal presentations during rounds or present articles at journal club meetings. This will help you later if you interview for an internship or residency at the same facility.