Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Starting Family Medicine

First let me say...wow.  Family Medicine is such a far cry from surgery.  The preceptors are so much more talkative, nice, and helpful - the interactions feel so much more normal.  We have been seeing a good variety of patients, including patients with asthma, bladder infections, osteoarthritis of the shoulder, palmar psoriasis, cirrhosis of the liver, and doing plenty of patient education also.  I've been grilling most of them about how they like working for Kaiser, since I am very interested in working for Kaiser one day - and all three pretty much love it.  Two of them are a married couple (though with different last names) and they used to have a private practice and she says they made more money in private practice, but it was much more stressful, and they could never take vacations, and had no life, compared to now.  Also, watching them deal with the electronic medical record system looks very appealing - they can finish encounter notes so quickly.  I told them I came from surgery and they chuckled, saying that I'll have the briefest notes of all of them after that, since surgeons are really brief.    

The biggest difference is in the question-answer feel - when I ask questions, I feel like they acknowledge that I am a student and have no problem telling me things.  When I tried that with the surgeon, he seemed more of the attitude of not wanting to teach me about stuff like that, that he would rather have me self-study and just quiz me when he felt like it.  Maybe it's because Family Medicine doctors are more relaxed and used to doing patient education.  It's a fairly stress-free rotation, so far.  I finished my first weekly quiz, most of it was either easy to look up or easy to discuss.  We have a quiz every week or two on blackboard, so we have to go through those.  I also need to be working on some readings and doing practice questions I think, but it's tough to get to everything when I get home at 6pm and have been up since 6:30am or so.  

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