Just as predicted, this rotation is full of just about everything from kids teething to geriatric patients with diabetes. Shockingly, I picked this rotation up pretty quickly. The most difficult thing to get use to was the EMR system because I have never used it before. Unlike other sites, my preceptor lets me input my own notes and decide what medications, tests, and referrals I want to order for the patients. Even the first day, I was getting to do A LOT!
There are a few things that I noticed already in family practice:
1. Know how to do an annual physical
From kids to elders, physicals come in all shapes and sizes. With kids, it is important to ask the right developmental questions, safety questions and sexual/puberty questions. With adults, we need to make sure they know what preventative tests they should be getting (i.e. colonoscopies, prostate exams, mammograms etc). Also, this is our chance to pick up things that even the patient did not realize was there or find significant. HERE is where the PREVENTATIVE medicine plays out-- and can SAVE LIVES and money down the road.
2. Move quickly
The practice I am at is very busy, with over 20 patients (for this provider) daily. As a student, I see about 1/4 of the patients right now. The provider that I am with works very quickly and it is impressive how he can see so many people, build relationships, and make accurate clinical decisions. To be honest, its motivating...that maybe someday, I could be a provider like that. I still think I have a lot of area to improve in both my documentation and my history taking/physical exams, but that is what this rotation is for! If we were all experts already we wouldn't have to be in school =p
3. Know your medications
I am looking at med lists for every patient and thinking of new meds if necessary. It is SUPER helpful to be familiar with them. Thankfully, my experience as a pharmacy tech (and going to ACPHS) has kept me afloat with most of the medications I have seen so far. I still have to look up dosing now and then, but for the most part, I am pretty familiar with the "fast movers," as we called them in the pharmacy.
All in all, I still have three weeks of this rotation left, but I have a feeling it will go by very quickly! Stay tuned!