How to Stay Organized During your Medical Internship

How to Stay Organized During your Medical Internship

Keep a written work list

The work list contains everything that needs to be done for your patients as well as basic demographic information. It is updated daily on ward rounds and is useful to ensure that no task is forgotten. Here is a sample of the work list that I used:

Keep separate chase lists

The chase list is a compilation of all outstanding patient labs. Based on the average amount of patients that your team has on a daily basis, it may be easier to have separate chase lists as shown here:

Clipboard & folder

Most interns have some sort of folder or clipboard to store request forms and other papers so that they are easily accessible. I used an accordion expanding file folder, to which I glued on a standard clipboard to the back.

Color code

Highlighters — patients required blood transfusions would be highlighted in pink, blue for those who needed a CT scan, etc. This isn’t necessary but it can add to overall organization and productivity.

Coloured letter-sized printer paper — The chase lists mentioned above would be printed on coloured paper as follows: Microbiology (yellow), Radiology (green), Miscellaneous (blue). This is helpful when you’re trying to find a list quickly.


Use a note-taking app such as Evernote or the default app on your phone to store important lab and ward numbers, frequently used drug dosages and, anything else that you think you won’t want to forget.


When I felt overwhelmed with all of the tasks that I had to do, I found it best to prioritize these tasks based on urgency. Do the tasks for the sickest patients first and consider time-sensitive tasks here as well. I would take a few moments, looking at my work list and prioritize based on these factors.

Have fun organizing!