Hands-on vs Hands-off Clinical Rotations

This infographic covers Hands-on vs Hands-off Clinical rotations-on. Hands-on rotations includes subinternship, clerkship, electives, and externship. Hands-off clinical experiences include observership and shadowing. Below is an infographic that explains common differences in each of these experiences.

Observership vs externship

Compare the following:

  • Hands-on vs Hands-off clinical rotations
    • Hands-on clinical experience involves a more active role. There is a direct interaction with patients and the student, trainee, or a physician who manages clinical conditions under supervision. It includes but is not limited to history taking, physical examination, management of diseases, and prescribing medications. Electives and internships are an example of hands-on clinical experience.
    • Hands-off experiences generally comprise shadowing and observational learning. A learner shadows a physician or team during their daily schedules and often present a topic in rounds or conferences. Observerships and shadowing are categorized under hands-off clinical experience.
  • Observership vs Shadowing clinical rotations
    • The main difference between observership and shadowing is the involvement of observer in rotation. In shadowing, observer only follows the day-to-day activities of the attending physician. However, observership is the combination of shadowing and some sort of active participation. This participation can be in the form of topic presentation, case discussion sessions, or a question answer session. Shadowing usually does not result in a recommendation letter but observership can yield a letter.
  • Elective vs Clerkship clinical rotations
  • Elective vs Observership clinical rotations
  • Subinternship vs Externship clinical rotations
  • Clerkship vs Externship clinical rotations

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