Spring Semester Shadowing: Family Medicine

YAY my last shadowing experience blog post! Family medicine was actually the first specialty I shadowed way back in high school so I was excited to shadow it with my new med student lenses.

Family medicine does exactly what the name implies: treat the whole family. Family med docs see all genders and ages and treat a wide range of disease and problems. One thing that I loved about my experience this past spring was how well the doctor knew her patients. She had been their doctor for over 10 years, developing a very unique yet sacred relationship that not many people share. I love this part of medicine, the continuity of care. She treated one patient for 10 years and then takes care of that patient’s children!

I also had the impression that family med doctors don’t have much time with each patient. During my hour, I only saw two patients! This was plenty of time to address the patient’s needs, treatment plans, and also include some education.

Well this concludes my shadowing recap! Shadowing has been an awesome way to see a day in the life of different specialties. If you have any questions on how to get involved with shadowing, comment below!

 

 

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Spring Semester Shadowing: Emergency

I have only two posts left to finish my little spring semester shadowing series! First, I want to remind readers of why I did all this shadowing. At my med school, we are assigned different shadowing experiences each semester, only for an hour each, to get a little glimpse into different medical specialties. We also had to shadow different health careers to see how medicine acts like a team and how doctors work with all different types of medical professionals.

The last two shadowing experiences are with emergency and family med, so keep an eye out for the family med experience coming soon.

Emergency medicine is actually an extremely popular field right now due to the shift work, lack of call, and a great lifestyle. The whole fall semester, emergency medicine was my #1 because I like fast paced things and acute care. Spring semester, I actually wasn’t sure if I’d like the lack of continuity of care, so emergency slipped a few spots on my ever-changing list.

This past spring, I had a great shadowing experience that bumped emergency to a top contender once again. My school is somewhat unique in that it really emphasizes ultrasound! We have an ultrasound course we take during anatomy and end the course with a patient practical. In my shadowing experience, the doctor let me use my ultrasound skills to ultrasound a patient’s heart! I love doing things that are hands on so this experience was so amazing to me.

I hope that whatever speciality I go into, it is one that I can use ultrasound! I believe it is such an effective and useful tool. Does anyone else like ultrasound or has had practice using one?!

This actually was not my first experience in emergency, however. I did shadow before I matriculated into medical school and it was that experience that made emergency my #1 in the first place. It was the first time I saw the death of a patient. It was very eye-opening and memorable for many different reasons. Despite the poor and unfortunate outcome, the medical staff, including the doctor, nurses, residents, all worked in a team. It was such a group effort and this fact really stood out to me. They were able to cope together, grieve together, and then pick back up to face the next emergency together.

Let me know if you like emergency medicine because of the team atmosphere, too!

Spring Semester Shadowing: Cardiology

Last semester I wrote about my experiences shadowing oncology, urgent care, and orthopedics. You can check that post out here! Today, I am sharing one of my six shadowing experiences of the semester! Overall, I shadowed cardiology, med/peds, neurosurgery, emergency, and family medicine!

One of my favorite things about shadowing is when an experience completely opens your mind about a specialty you had never considered. This definitely happened a few times this semester so keep reading about my spring semester shadowing to find out when!

Cardiology

This experience actually was not supposed to happen. I was scheduled to follow a nurse in the cardiac lab and see what goes on in this setting of the hospital. But I was sort of handed off to a cardiologist who was performing a transesophageal ultrasound on a patient. This was absolutely fascinating! All semester my classmates and I have been learning about ultrasound, practicing it on each other, and even had a lab practical on standardized patients. So it was comforting to see something I was actually familiar with.

I followed along as the doctor inserted the skinny ultrasound probe down the patient’s esophagus as to view a clearer picture of the heart. The doctor pointed out each ventricle and atrium to me. He showed me how the valves all seemed to be working correctly. He used the colored doppler to make sure blood was flowing in the right direction. I was deeply engrossed because I completely understood and could follow along to what he was saying which was amazing because it doesn’t happen too often as a first year!

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Doppler: BART (blue means away, red means toward)

Although I only was able to see one patient, it was one of my favorite shadowing experiences all year. It definitely made me want to consider cardiology as a future specialty!

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If you have any awesome cardiology experiences or shadowing experiences in general, please share below so I make sure to check it out! 🙂