A few spurious thoughts on the process:
Another large aspect of going into medicine is the constant, rigorous selection process at every stage for every opportunity. Some of them are objective metrics, others are harder to deal with -- like programs who decline an application for an elective or audition rotation, and of course those who aren't interested in interviews. This is less an issue of a program necessarily shunning a candidate and more a "real world" dynamic and habits inclined to do business with previous relationships that have proven successful. This is how most of the world works. However, making the transition from academia (purely) to a training program where we are employees with contracts is a strange one. Granted, we still may be in "academia" by name, and we will conduct research and be involved with teaching -- but make no mistake, it is a business arrangement. It is a very complicated dynamic, and one that I don't fully understand, but doctors can still help people while being in a business environment. I think that all physicians should review their personal statements that they penned to get into medical school in the first place, where some variety of "I want to be a doctor to help people" theme was on display. I also think that realizing this early -- especially for student-doctors who have not had to be in the "real world" business environment is imperative to ward off burn out -- which often stems from disillusionment of how things work, and not feeling like they are able to make a difference in the system, and of course, in people's lives.
Many doctors, even if they are not a teacher in the full time sense, will bring on students if asked. They know that their experience is important to pass on -- and as a student in the process of contacting physicians and asking them to add even more inconvenience to their already jam-packed schedules to show me the ropes is a strange process. One major theme that has impressed me is that whether you are on a core (required) rotation, or an elective -- whether you really dislike, or really love whatever given field you are spending time in, it is imperative to demonstrate interest, invest time in reading up on major elements in that field, and of course, be pleasant! The coffee shop/roaster I worked at for many years in Denver was (still is) involved with a lot of wholesale business to other coffee shops, and employees of the shops we would sell coffee to would send their employees to us for training. We would teach them to make a proper latte, cappuccino and how to pull a proper espresso shot. We would teach them about the coffee beans, and show them how we roasted them, all in the hopes they would be good, knowledgeable stewards of our coffee and of course, be successful in the relationship with our business partners. There were times that a teenager, or young person would show up for training and obviously have no interest in learning anything. We would teach these people the bare minimum, and often send them off with skills that were inadequate to make a steamed milk espresso drink for anyone -- not for lack of effort. The same principle applies to medical students. A little enthusiasm goes a long way. The rotation I'm on right now has what some of the other students have described as "strong personalities," which, being medicine, this should come as no surprise. I've found, through chatting with the MAs that there have been students who have spent time there who have, at worst, outright told the doctors that they didn't care about learning about OBGYN, or that they hated what they were doing and really didn't care about much other than passing the exam. After a couple of days on the rotation, and after getting to know the MAs, they told me that they thought I was doing a great job, and that the doctors liked me. This was very nice to hear (as it always is) especially as I really felt lost. Admittedly, I was not looking forward to this as much as other gigs, and I really have very little interest in OBGYN as a career. Furthermore, one reason I've chosen IM over FM is that I don't have to take care of children (I love children, just don't want to treat them) and IM has very little women's health training. And because of all of that, I knew that this might be the best opportunity to learn about OBGYN and I should make the most of it. Apparently having this attitude has paid off in that the doctors are actually interested in teaching me -- if I could give one piece of advice to medical students entering this stage of training, it would be this -- act like you want to be there, even if you don't at first, and you may just enjoy your time more than you thought possible.