So my Family Med rotation felt like it was super busy, and I’m sorry I did not really make the time to update y’all on how it was going.
I want to say that I really wanted to like Family Medicine. I like the idea of primary care, and I understand how important it is. I have this ideal image in my head of my being the doctor in this little town where I know everyone and I see the kids, their parents, and grandparents at my office. It sounds so nice, right?
I didn’t love it…
My program broke down our time into 3 parts—3 weeks of outpatient at a doctor’s office, 2 weeks of outpatient at a clinic, and 1 week of inpatient at the hospital. We were also on call once a week for the 6 weeks, one of those being 24 hour weekend call. When on call you would have to be there for the 5pm sign-off from the day crew, and would then stay overnight until morning rounds that started at 8:30am. You stayed for the duration of morning rounds (typically ending around 9:30/10am) and would have the remainder of the day off for post call.
We were expected to see 3 patients per half day (6 patients per day). We would get a history, do a physical exam, and then present the patient to our resident (if you were with one that day). Then we would discuss the assessment and plan, and we (the medical student) would present the patient to the attending that was precepting. We were also expected to write SOAP notes on those patients to give to our attendings the following day to be critiqued.
The hours were different depending on where you were. When I was at the doctor’s office, it was typically 8:30-5, but we could start as early as 7:30 on some days. At the clinic, it was typically 9-5. Inpatient you had to round before morning rounds, so we were expected there by at the latest 7am and would stay until sign-off was completed (typically 5:30pm). Not terrible hours.
I would then get home, say a quick hello to my husband and start on my SOAP notes as he started dinner. If it was a slow day, I had only 2-3 SOAP notes to write, but on busy days I could have 8. Even if they’re straight forward, they could take a while (plus I get distracted when I look up differentials). Then I had to study on top of that. I would typically do 2-3 cases out of Case Files: Family Medicine, and then at least 10 questions from UWorld. The problem is UWorld does not have a Family Medicine section…so I just used Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, OB/GYN, and Psychiatry (everything except surgery, lol).
My first 3 weeks I disliked where I was placed. My attending was fresh out of residency and she seemed to have something against me…It seemed like she didn’t want me there and that she did not care about teaching me. I would come out of the patient rooms with her with a question and she would literally put her finger up, never to address the question. She also only let me see new patients…how many new patients come in every day? Not many…I had maybe 1 or 2 a day…so I got a lot less exposure than the 6 patients per day I was supposed to be seeing. I felt like I was stupid the entire 3 weeks I was with her. It seemed like she wanted to put me down rather than build me up to be a great physician….which feels terrible…During my mid-evaluation she brought up my tattoos, which not one rotation has mentioned prior to her and are barely noticeable unless you’re staring at my feet (but who does that). I literally competed in pageants, including Miss New York with these tattoos showing without anyone 1-saying anything or 2-even noticing/calling attention to them. It just irked me that she brought them up, as if they made me less qualified to want to be a doctor…
My next two weeks at the clinic were SO MUCH better! I actually got to work with residents, most of whom actually wanted to teach me! It was so refreshing after my first 3 weeks! Even the attendings were approachable and really wanted you to learn. I loved the environment! I saw plenty of diabetes, hypertension, coughs, sore throats, etc. There were also some interesting cases, such as vastitis and even secondary syphilis! But I just wasn’t excited about it like I wanted to be…
My inpatient week was my last week. It was not much of a week as this was when I took my shelf exam. I was there all day Monday (which thank goodness was slow so I could study!), then I was off on Tuesday to study, Wednesday I had my shelf exam (I should get the results this upcoming week! Eek!), Thursday I was there ALL day (literally, because I was on call that night too), then Friday I was post-call so I had the day off. I didn’t really have the inpatient experience that most people get because I was there so little. Oh well. Inpatient just wasn’t my cup of tea any way…Rounding was great, seeing patients was great, but for the rest of the day there was NOTHING to do…It was boring to me.
As I said, I wanted to like Family Medicine so badly…but the only days I came home excited was when I got to do ANYTHING OB/GYN related, like a well-woman exam or an OB visit. The rest of the visits were pretty much like this: You have diabetes? Do you take your medications? No? Oh well that could be why your HbA1c is elevated like crazy…It just wasn’t fulfilling to me. So it looks like OB/GYN is what I like, and I’m so excited! I started looking at elective rotations that I need to start scheduling, and I was so excited/nervous/but SO ready for them to start! I guess when you find something that genuinely interests you and you really love, nothing else compares :)
Now I’m in Pediatrics for 6 weeks (well, now 5 since I just finished my first week)…I’m not thinking it’s my calling either. Yeah, kids can be cute…but when they’re screaming and yelling because they’re irritable from being sick or don’t want a shot…not so cute. Plus runny noses/stuffy noses/sore throats/coughs/etc just aren’t doing it for me…sorry kiddos.
Any questions? Just ask! :)