Clerkship updates! I just completed my 4-week rural family medicine rotation and I absolutely loved it! My rotation was a mix of clinic, ER and wards. I had the opportunity to see patients of all ages. While on the wards, I was responsible for admitting patients, rounding on them myself each morning, writing prescriptions, ordering tests and coming up with management plans. It was a very rewarding experience!
What I enjoyed the most
I loved working with patients of all ages and the variety of cases I saw each day. You never knew what would come through the door and it forced me to think on my feet! I also was pleasantly surprised at the variety of contexts you could work in as a family doctor. I had always pictured it as being more of a clinic setting but while on this rotation, I was amazed at what family doctors do in the ER and how much they were responsible for running the wards.
Interestingly, I always thought that working in a clinic would be my preferred setting and while this is still the case, I also found that I enjoyed working in a community hospital (as opposed to a large academic hospital). The staff were great to work with and I really enjoyed the team work and inter-professional collaboration.
The town I worked in was beautiful and I really enjoyed my drive into work each day (which ironically was a shorter commute than driving into my previous urban rotations!)
One of the best things about this rotation was the great work-life balance. I was able to apply myself fully at work during the day and still get to spend a good amount of time with my family and friends.
What I struggled with the most
My greatest challenge on this rotation was communicating and charting in French. But despite my linguistic errors, I found patients and staff to be very understanding and I feel I have improved significantly in my French during the course of this past month.
My take home message
I absolutely LOVED my rural family medicine rotation! There was plenty of variety of cases which were intellectually stimulating. I loved the flexibility of working in different contexts. I also very much like the idea of building long-lasting relationships with my patients and the holistic approach of being involved in all aspects of their care.
Next up is Inpatient Psychiatry. I am looking forward to this rotation because I feel this is the area of medicine that I have the least experience and knowledge in, so it will be a great opportunity for me to build my skills and abilities in taking care of patients with mental health issues.
In other exciting news, I have decided what specialty I will be going into! Stay tuned for my next post, the big reveal!
Featured image: Our little munchkins excited for Christmas!