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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

First Day

The Painfully Enthusiastic
AH, I'm part of the medical team! (Island Med Student blog)
I'm writing to capture this sense of gratitude and appreciation for today, my first day on the wards in general medicine, and my first rotation ever. This is a day to remember! I'm working as part of the team at the Bronx Veteran Affairs hospital, and I'm feeling 1) relieved, 2) grateful for the education and support I've received, and 3) optimistic and hopeful about this rotation, and this year.

A couple of thoughts:
1) I cared for Mr. M, a patient with gangrene. True, I've taken the H&P (history and physical in med-speak) multiple times before, but this time I felt like I had a much more substantial role in making a difference for him. When he wanted a salad, I could try to find one for him, and go back and check to see if he'd gotten it. And I think he appreciated having a hand to hold during the blood draw. I hope I'll get to see him tomorrow again, if he's still here (he's scheduled for a surgery). He's not my assigned patient, but I'm feeling this sense of "myness" for him. 

2) I presented Mr. M's case to my intern (1st year resident), who seemed impressed by the completeness of my presentation, and gave a lot of good pointers. I'm excited to start doing things on my own: presenting to the attending, writing progress notes, drawing blood, really helping out the team--as soon as I can! It felt validating to have prepared for the H&P, and to be able to do well on it, and I'm going to work to get it better, fluent, and memorized. 

3) Tonight, I don't have to worry about studying. Yes, it'll be learning, but I'll be reading and learning on my own accord, to learn everything I can about my patient, and it feels real and meaningful.

4) I'm grateful to my intern for spending such a great deal of time with us medical students, spending two hours going through my presentation. I will make it a point to get better and smoother. I'm still quite loss at to what to expect in terms of the daily schedule, how to use the computer system, how to write progress notes; yet the laid-back atmosphere of the team and their expectations has put me much more at ease. Still, I want to take charge of my own learning and challenge myself so I can help the team and patients the best I can.

To communicate, present, learn, connect--art really is at the heart of medicine. 

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