As noted previously, family med has a lot of variety in patient population, case presentation, and patient needs. After studying for the examination at the end of the rotation, I realized that family medicine includes a LOT of what we learned in the classroom. Yes, there are other surgical, emergency, and inpatient things, but the majority of the core knowledge we study is presented in family med. My preceptor was extremely friendly and mentioned many times during the rotation that "this is what PA's were made to do!" At first, I did not really know what he was talking about, but weeks into the rotation, I started to understand what he meant.
A nice thing about family med is that there is a lot of counseling time with patients. I was able to teach patients about their medications and why they need to take them. It was reassuring to see a patient leave knowing that they understand what his/her medication is doing and why they need to take it. After all, compliance is much higher with more education.
We also had a variety of small procedures performed in the office. I was able to irrigate many ear's, remove sutures, remove ticks, and perform GYN examinations all while in the office. I heard that periodically patients come in needing sutures as well, but the opportunity never presented itself on my rotation. All in all, I love hands on procedures, so this made family med that much more fun.
The life of someone working in an office versus hospital setting is completely different. Family med hours were about 6am to (about) 6pm 4 days a week (with this preceptor at least). It was nice because I barely ever brought work home. At the end of the day, I did not feel exhausted or burnt out, unlike I often felt in my earlier rotations. This could also be because I am in my 7th rotation now and the work is getting easier as I strengthen my skills. (Or it could be because I was much closer to home which made the commute less exhausting).
This all being said I learned a TON on my family medicine rotation. My preceptor gave me my own patients to work-up, educate, and treat---up to 13 patients a day! I cannot thank him enough for this amazing experience. Hopefully, these skills will be helpful in my internal medicine rotation I have starting on Monday!