Who needs medical students?
One of the challenges for us as medical students making our way on to the wards is to determine our role. Our agenda is to learn. However, we face many different styles of teaching, and at one point or another we must endure the sensation of standing idly against the wall, looking on to a session of rounds with a mixture of genuine interest and selfconscious alienation. We find ourselves asking, “Do they know we are here?”
This first question leads naturally on to a second, “What difference does it make to anyone that we are here?” We are aware that the two years of medical course work under our belts are virtually useless when it comes to patient care. Of course, we can write notes, assist in procedures, chase important laboratory tests, and perform other such functions, but in the abrasive, “admit discharge” world of the hospital, these contributions