Current Editors: Keith Wagner and Michael Ryan

Past Editors: Tim Allen, Kristyna Gleghorn, Dung Mac, Alex Acosta, William Tausend, Sheila Jalalat, Rebecca Philips, Chelsea Altinger, Lindsey Hunter, Alison Wiesenthal, Leslie Scroggins, Mara Dacso, Ashley Group, Fadi Constantine, Emily Fridlington, Joslyn Witherspoon, Tasneem Poonawalla.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Common Courtesy Sometimes Lacking by Medical Students

Dr. Alan Rockoff, a dermatologist, related his experience with a dermatology elective student in his September 2013 column (Under My Skin: Inconsideration. Skin & Allergy News, September 2013, page 9). A medical student who was going to specialize in family medicine requested a dermatology elective with Dr. Rockoff. The elective was arranged, but when Dr. Rockoff contacted the student the day before the elective was to start, the student responded that he had found another elective. Dr. Rockoff thought that the student’s behavior was inconsiderate and let the student know. The student apologized.

All of the communications between Dr. Rockoff and this student appear to have been conducted through email. Good communication requires that there is closure on each email. Students should always try to remember to close each loop so that each person understands what is going on. It would have only taken a minute for this student to email Dr. Rockoff when he changed plans for his final elective. That would have been the courteous and professional response.