Over ten months ago, Dr. Brandt urged my class to “wear the white coat” (coincidentally, she reminds us of this in one of her latest blog posts) on our clinical rotations by dismissing any biases we have for or against any specialties. Instead, we need to “wear” the mentality and skills as if we were in that field.
This isn’t to say that we’re faking our love of something. In reality, many people end up changing their sentiments regarding their field-of-choice after experiencing it in clinical practice. If they didn’t take the rest of their rotations seriously, who knows what opportunities were missed?! This is why it’s important to take every rotation seriously and make the most of it.
So for the next three months while I’m on my internal medicine rotation, I will be an internist. I’ll be working in a team to assimilate an incredible breadth of medical information into differential diagnoses and appropriate treatment regimens. I’ll be interviewing patients, interpreting lab results, learning to utilize an EMR to access previous medical histories/exams to provide a more complete image of the patient, and working to master a plethora of other skills which will give me a firm foundation upon which to build the rest of my clinical curriculum.
I’ll be spending my first month at Ben Taub, second month at St. Luke’s, and third month at the DeBakey VA Hospital gaining insight on very different patient populations. This is also my first clinical rotation, so I’ll become aware of many “intangibles” inherent to working in a medical team – properly interacting with uncooperative patients, how to communicate with loved ones, ethical issues, and on a more personal note, learning from my own mistakes.
So here’s to the next 12 hours where I transition from a basic science student to the rest of my medical career as a clinician, albeit just a student for the time being. 😀