Monday, April 2, 2012

First week

My first week has gone pretty well so far, all things considered.

Monday: Didn't have a clue what to expect. I was hoping that there would be at least another student, someone for me to suffer through inadequacy with, alas no. It is just me in Family for the next six weeks. Me and the same doctor. Thankfully, my clinical knowledge seems to be intact, as does most of my "book learnin." Where I had to make quick improvements was remembering how to interview patients--it's been almost a year since I've interacted with patients. After a few awkward moments I'm starting to get my wits about me again. The most frustrating part is trying to get the office and doctor's individual procedures and idiosyncrasies down. That's going to be a continual test until I get to impose the same torture on medical students and residents in the somewhat distant future, so I'd best make peace with that now. I'm pleased that my Spanish still credible, though I could improve a great deal. I'm hoping it will. I can understand much better than I speak, but by listening to the doctor speak (with an accent much worse than mine, I gleefully add, despite a far superior vocabulary)I am remembering and learning appropriate phrases and responses. Maybe if I get desperate I'll watch Univision, but frankly I would rather watch Barney and Friends...

Tuesday: Much the same as Monday. I feel I did a much better job of presenting patients to the doctor than I did the day prior. That was an area of improvement that was suggested. I didn't leave the office until 8 because the good doctor and I were backed up with paperwork.

House calls. I didn't know that doctors still did this, but apparently, given our aging Boomers, this is a growing, and soon to be--no pun intended--booming business. The day before the doctor asked me if I would like to accompany her on her house calls. Not wanting to miss an opportunity I said that I absolutely would. What time should I be where? So, I ended up meeting her at her house (which is almost exactly on the exact opposite and diagonal side of the city from me, joy) at around 8 in the morning, and off we went. We saw 10 patients, which was a lot considering very few of them actually lived close together. Many of the patients were poor and elderly, and only one just made me outright uncomfortable and sad. Her home was in an apartment complex that didn't even have locks from the inside, yet they did from the outside. So basically you're house is safe if you're not in it??? Anyway, her apartment was FILTHY disgusting. I wouldn't let a dog live there much less a human being. There was dirt everywhere. Candy, the wrappers, and half-eaten food on all the horizontal surfaces. I shudder to think what the bathroom would look like, but I couldn't bring myself to go in there. A little girl was walking around barefoot, and I don't think any of them had taken a bath in at least a week. Just squalor.  You do not have to be rich or even have a paycheque to be clean. Water is pretty much free...and soap costs less than that bag of candy. A classic case of does their economic status lead them to accept living like that, or does the fact that they obviously have very low standards lead them to accept the minimal things that come along. One house absolutely reeked of cigarettes, but the people there were clean, and actually seemed to care about themselves, even if they are old, poor, and ill--and perhaps crazy.

Same as Monday and Tuesday

Gave my first pelvic exam. Much easier than on those stupid plastic models we had in school. Will not make any jokes!!!

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