Family Medicine has been my first real outpatient experience, and two weeks of clinic have certainly flown by! My preceptors have been incredibly gracious in taking time to teach me tricks to the physical exam, treatment regimens, establishing rapport, and making sure I see a wide breadth of cases. I’m lucky to have been matched to this clinic – and so close to home too!
I’ve seen cases ranging from acute sinusitis, cough, otitis media and musculoskeletal injuries to more advanced arrhythmias and protocols for managing refractory hypertension. In addition to this breadth, I’ve found the “continuity of care” aspect of outpatient medicine incredibly appealing. These are the physicians that most people see first for a myriad of chief complaints, so patients get to know the same provider over many years. It amazes me how my preceptor is able to recollect the nuances of his patients’ unique histories even though he sees them only a few times each year. 🙂
Roughly a year ago, I was just getting started with Internal Medicine and had no idea what I was doing. Taking histories, formulating diagnoses, consulting the primary literature, and creating a treatment plan have now become a routine part of virtually every patient encounter. Heading into some dedicated “USMLE Step 1 studying time”, this rotation has been an excellent way to apply facets of every rotation I’ve had. After all, as much of basic sciences is based on buzzwords, clinical medicine is rooted in experience.