Medical Detective
How This Rotation Works

What is a rotation?

What is my role in this rotation?

What do I do in this rotation?

How do I access my tasks?

Are VISTA rotations completed in person or remotely?

How do I communicate with my mentor or fellow students?

How do I arrange for an in-person meeting with a mentor or fellow student?

How do I present to my mentor or fellow students?

How do I get help with my tasks?

How is this website organized?


What is a rotation?       ^ top
A rotation places you in a realistic role or series of real-world roles (e.g., a doctor, nutritionist), typically for a period of one to five weeks. In your role(s), you’ll complete tasks similar to the tasks these types of professionals complete in the real world.

What is my role in this rotation?      ^ top
See the Your Role heading in this rotation’s introductory materials, available in the left menu.

What do I do in this rotation?      ^ top
In this rotation, you will assume two separate roles. First you will play the role of junior investigator at Hammond Investigations, working on the case of a middle aged woman who has died from a gunshot wound.You will gather evidence including forensics, autopsy findings, and witness statements. You will look for links or patterns in the evidence, and test your hypotheses about the case until you arrive at a logical conclusion that is supported by the facts.

Later, you will assume the role of an intern at Highland Hospital, where you will investigate the case of a college athlete who has collapsed on the basketball court. You will exercise your knowledge of human physiology, anatomy and ethics – as well as your skills in problem solving, research, writing, and communication – to determine the cause of the patient's illness.

How do I access my tasks?       ^ top
You access a task from the left menu (under the Your Tasks heading) and then select one of the subtasks within the task.

Are VISTA rotations completed in person or remotely? ^ top
VISTA rotations can be completed in person, remotely, or as a combination of both.

How do I communicate with my mentor or fellow students?      ^ top
There are a number of methods available for communication with your mentor and your peers, including instant messaging, telephone, in-person meetings, remote conferencing systems (such as LiveMeeting or NetMeeting) or shared web spaces (such as Yahoo Groups or Google Groups).

For mentor communication, your mentor will suggest his/her preferred methods. For student-to-student communication, work with your peers to determine which communication methods work best in a particular situation; most likely, you will use many different methods throughout this rotation.

How do I arrange for an in-person meeting with a mentor or fellow student?      ^ top
Use any of the communication methods available to you to schedule a convenient time and location for in-person meetings.

How do I present to my mentor or fellow students?      ^ top
Presentations may be in person or remotely, depending on how you are participating in this rotation. In-person presentations will be scheduled at a time and place convenient for those attending. For remote presentations, there are a number of technologies available, including LiveMeeting and NetMeeting. You and your mentor will determine the technology you will use for each presentation.

How do I get help with my tasks?      ^ top
You have multiple resources available to you for help. After each task, you receive feedback from your mentor before moving on to the next task. (Your mentor may also provide you with advice and suggestions during the completion of a task.) Sometimes, you may revise and resubmit your assignments one or more times before your mentor feels you are ready to move on to the next task. You will not have access to tasks ahead of the task you’re working on, to avoid giving away details of the simulation that occur in the “future.”

How is this website organized?      ^ top
Each task typically contains four sections, accessed through the “tabs” running across the top of the screen. Each section contains materials for you to view or read that will help you to complete the task at hand. You complete the sections in the following order:

Section 1: Read about your task
Section 2: Get help
Section 3: Submit your work
Section 4: Reflect on what you learned

Read on to learn more about these sections.

Task Sections
Section 1: Read about your task When you click on a task in the navigation bar, you see that task’s first section, Read about your task. This section contains one or more emails from your supervisor or others directing you to do a certain task and briefly describing your assignment. In addition, there may be email attachments in the form of text documents or video, or other items such as your patients’ X-rays, which contain important information you need to complete your task.
Section 2: Get help

Once you’ve read through your task, go to the Get help section to receive detailed instructions and assistance to help you complete your work. This section provides several different kinds of help, each with its own purpose:

Step by Step Guide: This resource provides detailed, step-by-step instructions for completing your task. This guide will be especially useful in helping you through the challenging parts of your task, and will refer you to key resources needed to complete the task successfully.

Tips and Traps: This resource provides you with helpful hints to consider as you work through your task. It provides advice on common mistakes and tricky parts of the task you should be aware of, and advice for overcoming these challenges.

Resources: This provides links to FAQs, print materials and websites you may need to complete your work and provides you with background reading on your rotation’s subject area. Resources are divided into sections, organized by topic. One key resource is the Diagnosis and Treatment Archive—Internal Medicine (DATA). This archive contains medical content you will need to assess and treat the clients you will encounter in your tasks, including signs and symptoms, potential diagnoses, and treatment options relevant to their conditions.

Beyond the help included in Get help, there is also a General Skills Resources link in the left menu that provides help with non-subject matter related skills you will use repeatedly throughout the rotation. These skills include note-taking and research, writing, teamwork, and project management. (Additional help is also available through communication with your mentor and your fellow students.)

Section 3: Submit your work When you are finished with a task, click on Submit your work. This section tells you exactly what material you need to submit and how you should name your deliverable(s). Your mentor will provide guidance on how to submit your work, e.g., where to email it.
Section 4: Reflect on what you learned At the end of many tasks, you’ll find reflection questions to consider in the section titled Reflect on what you learned. You may be asked to think and write about these topics on your own or to discuss them with your peers. The questions will help you step outside of your role and think about what you’ve learned, and how it can be applied to your day-to-day life, and to consider issues that arose as you worked through the task. The questions may also highlight connections between what you may have learned in one task and concepts from other previous tasks in the rotation.