There is a world of difference between the family medicine I was learning two weeks ago, and the family medicine I’m practicing now. Here, I take a full history, perform a physical exam, often including a pap, provide my assessment to the preceptor, offer a plan for investigation, offer guidelines on how far apart these investigations should take place, and provide a prescription if needed. There, I mostly followed the preceptor around. I watched a lot of quick 5-minute patient visits as he often double- and tripled-booked, took a lot of blood pressures (with an automated machine, no less). And that was about it. Now, I take as much time as I need with the patient, and then present the whole case to my preceptor to run everything by him.
Extremely grateful have experienced the variety. Ironically the freedom that most people get on their rural rotations, expecting a small town with an understaffed hospital where students can do just about anything, is exactly converse to what I experienced. And presently, a lot of my fellow classmates are bored out of their minds in their urban settings, whereas I’m quite happy with what I’ve learned and how far I’ve come already. There are days where I even get pimped and because I’ve gotten everything right, he pushes me further to ask resident-level questions.
Of course, there are still those other days where I mix up the radius and ulna. 😛