The field of general surgery works on a very strict hierarchy, so it behooves the student to carefully observe those around him or her in order to determine what is appropriate and expected behavior. Students are encouraged to discuss treatment plans and voice their opinions. Validate other person's opinions and do not challenge other's opinion in a way that even remotely can be considered antagonistic or disrespectful, and certainly not in ear shot of patients and families. The key issue is to behave as professionally as possible. The interaction with any member of the staff ought to be based on mutual respect. Make your intern look good and you will be rewarded. Helping out your fellow student is noticed and expected. Your interns should be your friends; they can instruct you in proper protocol. Also, your preceptor determines your grade based on what the residents say about you as well as on your performance during preceptor sessions and the exams.