Studying: Underserved rotation

My underserved rotation was INCREDIBLE. My preceptor is the kindest human in the world. She listens…like really listens…not the type of listening you do to help you think of your differential. It’s the type of listening that she makes room for in her heart and feels for your struggles. She’s the type of provider that reads your name on the chart and knows who you are, the type of person that walks into the room and gives you a hug. Crazy, isn’t it? I always feel so pressured to somehow do an entire visit and write my note within 20 minutes. I can tell you now that I’m failing at it most of the time, but that’s why they say medicine is an art and a science, am I right? Not only did I learn how to really listen, I also learned how to be resourceful. The town had 1  pharmacy and 1 county hospital, which didn’t have a MRI machine and couldn’t do surgeries. People would drive ~40 minutes away to COME to this town for healthcare, but if we didn’t have the resources, they would have to drive 40+ minutes AWAY to the nearest hospital. This here, ladies and gentleman, was a glimpse of what underserved America looks like. There were many times where I just wanted to refer a patient to a specialist, but again, the same problem was that the nearest specialist was 40+ minutes away and had a waiting list ugh. People in this small town were all so sweet and hard working. Many of them worked 12+ hours on the oil rigs or did some sort of labor with long hours. It was hard enough for them to schedule an appointment to come for a visit, and even harder for a follow up 😦 I’m extremely grateful I had the opportunity to rotate in this tiny town and had an incredible preceptor to start my clinical experience. Not only did I get to be in clinic, I also got to rotate in the nursing home and do home visits. It really touched my heart to be able to do the latter two because it was such a unique and special experience- like what? You’re letting me into your HOME?! I’m just a student and you’re letting me into your place of rest and refuge? Um, WOW. Thank you for trusting me so much and letting me serve you in this special way.

Anyway, I didn’t have an EOR for this rotation. But, I did have to do practice questions for our boards that were due every Friday and write an essay about it. Here’s how I approached the tasks at hand:

  • Monday  – Wednesday: do as many practice board questions as I possibly could. I would read the diseases in the organ system of that week during my down time in clinic.
  • Thurs: do ~50 questions and hope I got a 90 because that’s considered “passing” on this assignment. And if I didn’t, then I would take it again and again and again until I did.  Finally, I turned it in on Thursday night.
  • Friday-Sunday: NOTHING. TAKING BACK MY WEEKEND, PA SCHOOL. BOOO-YAHHHHH.
  • Halfway mark of rotation – I asked my preceptor for a verbal feedback on how I was doing and what I could improve upon. She was so nice and said I was doing really well…and then she asked what I thought I could improve upon – don’t worry, I had a list of things I wanted to improve upon, like dosing and duration of medication and thinking of differentials or workups lol. Luckily, she said things like that come with time and practice so yippee.
  • When I had ~1.5 week of the rotation left, I opened up my syllabus and read what the essay was required. I would spend ~30 mins Monday-Thursday working on it, and turned it in the last Thursday before it was due and then headed to pass day on Friday.

Working out:

  • Mm..yeah…I did what I could.. but….
    • Fitness Marshall videos for cardio.
    • Blogilates for resistance
  • And yes, I did them in my hospital room lol.
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