First year did very well to prepare me for clerkship. As I said before, it gave the class a good foundation on the pathophysiology of disease, clinical skills and pharmacology basics. Even if you don’t understand exactly what is going on with a patient, our clinical skills courses taught us how to recognize what is abnormal. The faculty also instilled in our brains the importance of “knowing what you don’t know”. The answer is a lot. And it’s important to recognize your gaps in knowledge to know how to improve, and how to give safe patient care.
First year scratches the surface of many specialties (OBGYN, Peds, Internal Medicine, etc.), and that is okay. First year’s purpose is to give you a good foundation, and that’s exactly what the program does. Physicians spend YEARS learning to be able to specialize in one area, so it’s not possible to cram every specialty into one year for us. That being said, I remember going into my OBGYN rotation thinking that they were speaking a foreign language on the ward. The first few days are definitely a “survival mode” for you, but you pick up what’s going on and what your strengths and weaknesses are pretty quickly.