How to Decide on a Clinical Placement
At the end of October, we start the interview process that will ultimately determine our clinical rotations during our third year. In my program, the final year of the program is entirely clinical with either two six- month placements or one 12-month placement. While everyone is required to attend two general interviews, one inpatient and one outpatient, we do have a lot of say in where we are placed. We can decide to complete all 12 months in one type of setting, or we can try two completely different settings.
The only thing I know at this point is that I do not want to stay in one place for 12 months. There is so much that I haven't yet been exposed to and thus I don't feel like I have enough experience to decide which setting I'd like to pursue for my career. Aside from that, I'm no closer to making a decision than I was when I started the program. I just can't figure out what the best option is. Inpatient? Rehab? Outpatient ortho? Or something more specialized?
For the most part, I do not see myself working in an outpatient orthopedic setting. However, that setting requires a great amount of knowledge and clinical skill and I could absolutely benefit from a six-month placement. Or would a rehab hospital be best? I spoke to some of my professors, and many of them seem to think that inpatient rehabilitation has the potential to be a great learning experience with a lot of carryover. One of them also mentioned the VA being a fantastic setting for students. I hadn't thought about working for the VA, but it's something I may want to consider.
I also have a strong interest in neuro, and could definitely see myself working in that setting. But where would I learn the most? I just want to be exposed to as much as possible while I'm still a student, before the greater burden of responsibility sets in. There's just not enough time to do everything! Despite these weighted decisions, this is a very exciting time. I'm just hoping to gather as much information as possible so I can make an informed decision when it comes time to interview.