There really isn't much to say in terms of what all I've been doing and seeing... I'm still observing A LOT and still seeing a lot of diabetes, COPD, hypertension, back pain, etc. Kind of disappointed I haven't been able to do more, but such is life.
One thing that has been nagging at me is my attitude toward this rotation. One thing that I really looked forward to was being able to assess a patient's condition (by asking questions and performing a physical exam) and formulate my own assessment and plan. Although I already do that in my head, I was hoping for more opportunities to present my ideas to my preceptor (which I don't get to do often). I was also hoping to get "pimped" a lot on all the common things that I will see in primary care (pimping is when the preceptor asks tons of questions in a row and essentially makes you feel like an idiot). This also does not happen often. So I'm kind of bummed, but whatever.
Another thing that I really need to work on is patience. Now, I don't really show when I'm impatient, but I definitely feel it a lot. In particular, I am very quick to judge and become suspicious of patients who need pain meds. In my head, THEY ARE ALL DRUG SEEKERS. Or people that just complain all the time about everything. They come in with aches and pains all over.
Do you have headaches? "Oh yes I get migraines all the time."
Okay, well have you been feeling tired? "I can't seem to stay awake!"
Do you have any numbness or tingling in your legs? "Both of my feet are numb right now."
...Alright, well do you have any back pain? "I've had back pain since my slipped disk 10 years ago."
Suspicion, suspicion, suspicion.
But really they're just people with vague complaints that want some relief.
As a health care provider, it's so important to lay those prejudices, judgments, and suspicions aside and treat all patients with the respect and care that they deserve. It's our job. It's our job to take a person's vague complaint and turn it into a diagnosis. People really do have problems and they really do need our help. Some people really do need percocet and vicodin. Pain is real. Sometimes it really seems like people are faking because sometimes things don't quite line up as they should, but that's medicine. Patients are different and medicine is variable. It would be unacceptable to turn a patient away because of suspicion when they really do need our help. So, I'm working on that.
I'm also working on getting ready to go to ALASKA! Woo! I'm going to be in Juneau for a 5-week family medicine rotation. So pumped. Mountains, glaciers, hiking, kayaking, whales, exploring the beaches and downtown, working in the clinics, and so on. Alaska is going to be fantastic. The only downer is that I'm going to be alone a lot of the time. So, if anyone knows people in Juneau that will go exploring with me, call them up right now! I'm so desperate for a hiking buddy that I've even gone to the extremes of couchsurfing.com. No kidding. But companion or no companion, I'm sure I'll still have a great time.
Alright, well that's pretty much all I have to say for now! Thanks for being "patient" with another long post. I promise I'll try to keep it shorter next time!