Clinical Distinction

Your future, by you

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Pitch Yourself

Many students express anxiety and worry about asking a person to sponsor them.

I often hear, “wouldn’t it be easier to ask someone that knows about Clinical Distinction already?” Or “they are really busy, isn’t it a lot to ask?”

And there are other concerns… which I address in this blog. What you’ll see when you read that is, overwhelmingly any person asked to be a sponsor is likely to be interested, perhaps even flattered, and curious about the experience. Ultimately, if you do a great job with your pitch, and then your project, you’ll find they want the opportunity to work with you.

So what’s the pitch?
You need to know two things:
A little about Clinical Distinction, a lot about what your plan is.

Here’s what not to pitch: Can I work with you on something this month? I’m interested in your specialty. That’s perhaps appropriate for an elective rotation but you aren’t doing a rotation – you are the curriculum designer of this course – you are driving the bus!

Instead say something like this:

“At TUCOM we are given the opportunity in third year to design a course of learning. It’s an important opportunity because it helps us with our residency application and allows us to pursue areas of interest. The course has won two awards and if you want to read more about it I can give you a link to the website.

My course is focused on (probably their specialty). My plan is to (list your activities here specifically, for example, read about x, write y, create z). Ideally, I could also (insert things you want to do like, see patients, assist with procedures, help with research etc). I’m wondering if you’d be willing to work with me as my sponsor.

What that entails is really up to you but includes approving my plan of study which will be an online form and then evaluating me at the end. My project will end (this is important, if your sponsor is getting married on may 10th, it’s a bad time to ask them for an evaluation).

If you are willing, I’d also like (here you are negotiating – if you want them to observe you, evaluate your entrustability, let you see patients, read your report, try out the app you build, let you teach their nursing staff about training students…)”

A word about your negotiation: The more they observe and engage with you, the better they can evaluate you. It’s really that simple, because an evaluation that says “they did great” pales in comparison to one that describes your competency growth- here’s an example of an evaluation that gets specific:

Finally, your course director is here to help. If you want to practice your ask with them, get advice on how to ask, who to ask, or even need help talking to a potential sponsor, please reach out to one of us!