Medical students gain experience with shadowing program

All first-year medical students are now required to shadow a Fletcher Allen nurse as part of the Professionalism, Communication and Reflection (PCR) course, PCR director Lee Rosen said. The shadowing program’s purpose is to help medical students learn the basic duties and responsibilities of the nurses, she said. “We want the students to see the hospital through the lens of the nurse and understand the incredible range of skills nurses need to call on,” she said. Experience working in a hospital shows medical students how nurses are the go-between for patients and doctors, she said. “The experience gave me great insight into the important role health care professionals play for the patient and their loved ones,” first-year medical student Rola Khedraki said. In addition to shadowing Fletcher Allen nurses, first-year medical students are required to meet with senior nursing students to exchange stories about their experiences, Rosen said. These reflection groups allow nursing students more experienced with working in hospitals to give advice to first-year medical students about clinical work, she said. “We expect our medical students at UVM to graduate with superb collaboration skills and to be the kind of nurses that doctors enjoy working with, because that is clearly in the best interest of patients,” Rosen said.