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Published: June 30th 2010
So yesterday was my first day of my 3rd year of medical school. Kind of felt like I was jumping off of a cliff. I was ready and excited, but also terrified and needed a bit of a push. It's the kind of thing that, for me, seem to be easier when you can kind of jump on your own terms without a lot of fanfare, so it's a good thing that I live by myself.
The last two days have been fairly unremarkable. I'll give you a brief rundown of what the days are like and then maybe give some parting shots.
Wake up and get to the hospital between 7 and 8 am.
Look up new information on my patient(s) and then go visit with them (now I only have 1 patient, but I'll have up to 5 at a time when it really gets rolling)
Round with the medical team: my attending physician, 2 residents, a pharmacist, and another 3rd year med student
Rounding lasts until about lunchtime.
Afternoons are pretty varied. Sometimes we have lectures, sometimes we just follow the residents, sometimes we have free time.
The day ends by going back by and visiting with my patient(s) before I head home.
That's the Internal Medicine rotation in a nutshell. Just from my brief experience so far I can reaffirm a few adages which were highlighted during orientation. The patients are our teachers. I will learn more from them about medicine and life than from any physician or textbook. Patients (for the most part) really adore medical students because we appear to actually give a _____. It's not that the attending and residents don't care about the patients, but they have to take care of about 15-20 patients. I have to take care of maybe 5, but often less. I can spend as much time as I want shooting the breeze with patients and most of our conversation really has nothing to do directly with their medical condition(s). Finally, the scale of patients I will encounter and have encountered already will range from those who improve rapidly and miraculously to those which we send home for hospice care or die on our service. It's pretty shocking when those two are juxtaposed.
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