Things I will miss most about … Outpatient and Family Medicine

So I saw this other blogpost at , and it inspired me to write one of my own. I’ve written a lot of snarky, ungrateful bitching and moaning about my past two rotations in med school, but the truth is that I have a lot to be grateful for. I’m starting OB/GYN in eight days, which is traditional one of the most intense rotations (hour-wise and personality-wise) for the UMS students who take it at University Hospital.

So, with a hat tip to the aforementioned, here’s a brief list of the things I will miss from my two months of Adult Outpatient and Family Medicine.

1. They can’t get rid of you. Seriously. Whether you’re the best medical student or the worst, your practice is stuck with you for every clinic day for a month. That’s a lot of time, and they know it. Accordingly, the office staff actually make a pretty decent effort to get to know you and are nice to you, as long as you’re not a blithering idiot or a sociopath. My first office even got me a cake for my last day! (#weightproblems)

2. Becoming (relatively) less stupid each day. Although this is true to some extent in all rotations, when you’re given a month in a single location, you really know where to find a tongue depressor, gown and throat swab in every room. You also can learn (if you are so inclined) how to avoid pissing off the staff and making their lives harder, and sometimes you can even make their lives easier (admittedly, those opportunities are infrequent). It is very comforting to know more or less what you’re walking into each day. This is about to change … (#foreshadowing)

3. Getting to know you! As a student on a long rotation with one or two attendings, you get to know your attending(s) and their idiosyncracies. By the end of the first week, you’ve pretty much got the routine for each general type of patient down: what the attending wants on their note, what rx’s they usually right, and how they want their day to go down. This means that they are more likely to like you.

4. (Not so) Great Expectations. Everyone knows it’s the beginning of third year and they expect you to act like a total @$$-clown. Basically, as long as I didn’t throw a reflex hammer at a patient or urinate on a nurse, I was gonna pass. If I knew anything about anything (sample questions: what is the age that medicare starts, why don’t we give thalidomide during pregnancy, how many leads are there in a 12 lead EKG), people looked at me like I walked on water. Although this did nothing to quell my constant and unspeakably intense feelings of impostor syndrome, at least I escaped mostly unscathed.

5. Time, glorious time.

a. Time to study and do “normal person things”. While some of the days (particularly on Adult Outpatient) were legit 12-hour days, most of them were under 10. I felt like I had a predictable schedule that wasn’t overly draining. Occasionally I could even go to the post-office, and I rarely missed lunch.

b. Time with patients. No matter how much time I spent, I was never the bottleneck. In my first clinic, my preceptor was even slower (this is because he was a good doc, very methodical and thoughtful) than I was. In my second clinic, there were SO MANY patients waiting that my preceptor never had to wait for me to finish seeing my patient – there were always another three or four folks who she could zip right in and see.

All in all, the last two months have been very cushy and I fear I have become spoiled. I have no illusions about what’s coming my way: this nice world of Third Year is about to be ruthlessly and systematically demolished by the world-eating monster from another dimension that is OB-GYN. Just wanted to get it down on paper so I can look back on the good old days and reminisce.

Also: no pelvic exams! Woohoo!

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