Update: Ambulatory Medicine Rotation

To start off for those who don’t know, ambulatory medicine = outpatient medicine. This rotation at my school is 4 weeks and it’s with the Internal Medicine department. Some of my classmates that are at regional campuses are working with one doctor doing only one aspect of Internal med–nephrology for example. I’m doing the rotation at the main hospital at my institution along with 10-15 other med students, so our experience is a little more mixed. On the first day we all got schedules that detailed our clinic assignments for each day of the week. Every morning and afternoon, I’m assigned to a different clinic. My schedule goes like this:

Monday
AM: Pulmonary
PM: Cardiology

Tuesday
AM: Rheumatology
PM: Hematology/Oncology

Wednesday
AM: Pulmonary
PM: Faculty (patients are mostly employees)

Thursday
AM: Resident continuity care
PM Gastroenterology

Friday
AM: Resident continuity care
PM: Off! All Friday’s are half days, whoo!

Sometimes I’m the only student working with a particular preceptor. More typically, there are 2-3 students total, and we split the patient panel for the day. This system has been working out pretty nicely because I end up only seeing about 2 patients in a half-day. Which I am definitely not complaining about at this point in my medical school career.

I was worried before starting this rotation that maybe I forgot everything I’d learned about patient care because I took so much time off. But in reality, it was just like riding a bike. Once I knocked on that first patient’s door, I was right back in the groove of things. Now, I didn’t remember a lot of the pharmacology and nuances of the difference specialties, but I knew how to establish rapport and make a patient feel cared about. I listened and retained the info necessary to write a good patient note. I just quickly learned the preferences of my preceptors and tailored my interviewing and documentation style to them.

All the docs I’ve worked with have all been really nice and chill. And they all love to teach–it was even a bit much at times to be honest. One had this way of teaching you and making you feel stupid at the same time…if that makes sense. All in all, I have no complaints and I’m looking forward to another good week. Maybe I’ll consider starting to study for the shelf exam I have at the end of the rotation…
Nahhh I already know I won’t!

I hope you have a wonderful week!

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