Monday, February 11, 2008

Family Medicine, Here I Come!

Last Friday, I finished my two-week family med rotation. Now, the fact that the only required family medicine in our curriculum is two weeks in the second year and two weeks in the third is a bit ridiculous, but this couple of weeks came at the perfect time to confirm my career choice.

And confirm my career choice I did. I absolutely loved the rotation! I spent both weeks at a rural clinic about 15 miles outside of the city, working mainly with the family med residents but also with the consultants who do a lot of the resident teaching. I saw lots of patients, ranging from little babies to the elderly. At this time of year, it's a lot of upper respiratory tract infections. One afternoon, our schedule looked something like this: 1. cough 2. cough 3. cough 4. cough 5. knee 6. cough 7. knee. So I spent a lot of time every day listening to lungs, reassuring people that they did not have pneumonia, and sending them home for symptomatic treatment of their viruses (Rest. Fluids. Chicken soup.) There were some kiddos with possible ear infections thrown in there, and I got better at my pediatric ear exam. But we also saw some more complex things—plenty of chronic medical issues, a rash that was probably due to vasculitis, a superficial thrombophlebitis...

All in all, I realized that yes, indeed, I do love the enormous range of ages and conditions that family med covers. I loved watching physicians work with patients whose entire families they treated. One day, in fact, I had mom, dad, and two-year-old all in for a combined visit with a variety of symptoms. Chaos! But also lots of fun. I love that I'll be able to do some quick and satisfying procedures—joint injections, casting, skin cancer blasting/biopsying—but also spend time getting to know patients over many years. I cannot imagine a more wonderful way to spend my working day. So, a family doctor I shall be!


Kate said...

Woohoo! So gratifying to know it in your heart, yes? :)

Love, Kate

Beth said...

YAY!!! It's so great to know you love what you have been thinking you'll do for the rest of your life! May we always love what we do!