Thursday, September 1, 2011

Elective Rotations and Sports Medicine

After a lot of phone tag with various physicians and emails going unanswered for a week or so, I finally got in contact with two infectious disease specialists - one works at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield, and the other works in Oakland.  I got them both on board to do one of my elective rotations each, so I'll be in Fairfield in October, and in Oakland in December.  Another little perk is that the Oakland physician is taking the last week of December off, so I'll have something like a winter break.  It should also be a good variety, since one of the rotations is at an HIV/AIDS clinic and the other is more hospital based.  

As far as Family Medicine, I'm working on a case presentation that I'll be doing on September 20th - it's going to be about 45 minutes long, in front of all the doctors in the family medicine department.  Oie.  I found an interesting case we saw of a woman with a lot of problems coming in for new onset myalgias (neck, hip, arm) and the idea that my preceptor went with was early Herpes Zoster, so she prescribed some prednisone and did some viral assays.  About a week later though, the patient went to the ER for Bell's Palsy, which in the context of Herpes Zoster would be Ramsay Hunt Syndrome type 2.  She still hasn't had a skin eruption yet, but we shall see if we get more information back about her in the next few days.  The overall theme of my presentation will probably be acute myalgias, the workup, likely candidates in a primary care setting, and of course the actual patient case.  The hard part will be organization and fitting it into a 45 minute time slot, since acute myalgias is a huge topic.

Also I think I've figured out what kind of preceptor-student relationship I had had in mind for rotations.  My first preceptor was nice, but not very approachable, hard to read, barely spoke about anything, and wasn't very open to teaching with me asking questions - he was more into the old fashioned pimping style of him asking everything until I don't know.  So, that was the example of the "hard to read" preceptor.  Then my current female preceptor is nice, kinda touchy-feely, a little holistic, so that's a nice contrast.  The sports medicine doctor ( a guy ) is almost too friendly, with a lot of topics of conversation that go outside of the office.  The other male doctor I am with sometimes seems more like I had envisioned it - nice, tolerates some question asking, talkative but mostly about patients or conditions or clinic-related topics without it feeling too "strictly business".  

As for today, I saw a good variety of things - saw a woman with breastfeeding-associated DeQuervain's Tenosynovitis, with the characteristic positive Finkelstein's test.  I also saw two ends of the spectrum of rotator cuff injuries - honestly, it seems like half of the patients (at least) who come into the sports medicine office have rotator cuff problems - makes me want to keep my rotator cuff muscles strong so I don't end up having problems with that.  I feel bad for the older people with those problems.  The one end of the spectrum was someone who kept trying to exercise even while doing physical therapy and ended up coming in with an entirely inflamed shoulder, with subacromial bursitis, biceps tendonitis, and rotator cuff weakness/tenderness.  On the other end, there was a woman with focal pain on her lateral posterior shoulder, and an X-ray showing that her humeral head was about a centimeter higher up than it should be in her glenohumeral joint.  When I did the exam, I got kind of excited about finding a significantly positive sulcus sign - which is elicited when you exert downward traction on a person's humerus by pulling their elbow gently to the floor.  On the uninjured side I didn't get much but on the other side her shoulder went down a ton, had a visible dimple on the shoulder, and a lot of cracking (crepitus) - it almost sounded like I was dislodging it from a stuck position.  That was the first time I had tried that test since our sports medicine practice.  The patient was really surprised, and I think it made it more likely that she would do her physical therapy, since there was a significant, noticeable difference in her joint.  

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