Today is the midpoint of my family medicine clerkship. For the past three weeks, I have seen kids with coughs, guys who want Cialis, dislocated joints, pregnant mommies, runny noses, depressed senior citizens, strep throats, Caesarian sections, annual physicals, lots of funny skin spots, uncontrolled diabetes... the list could go on.
You know what I have liked the most out of my experiences so far?
Continuity. It is rewarding to see a women who formerly had oxygen saturations of 85% on O2 nasal cannula walk into clinic (from her home) and have no problem finishing a sentence. It is nice to be able to pick up a skin color change from mild jaundice to something to be concerned about. It is heart-wrenching to see an 80 year old man deteriorate from a compassionate caretaker for his demented wife and palsied son to a fetal position writhing in pain from a pelvic bone infection. (I hope and pray he recovers.)
These are all aspects of medical care I would miss out on by pursuing the top two specialties I've been considering recently: emergency medicine and hospitalist.
We shall see about this!