Now to wrap up my internal medicine rotation I would like to mention a few things. At first, I was probably most nervous starting this rotation but felt most at home by the end. This rotation was at our local medical college hospital, meaning that the medical students would also be on our service working with the patints as well. I was fearful that the med students would know more than me, be able to do more than me, answer questions better than me etc. I will not go as far as to say that I was wrong in that regard, but we simply had different skills and strengths. I was familiar with many common treatment regimens and modalities that they have not necessarily learned yet, and they were better versed in conditions at a cellular level (being able to explain details of processes and pathophysiology). Many procedures I had done previously that they had not had the chance to do, which was surprising to me. Aside from knowledge, I was fearful that they would not be accepting of me (as I fear with joining any already-formed groups). Now here is where I can say that I was completely wrong; the med students I worked with were exceptionally friendly and included me in all of their extra lectures and events. By the end, I felt like I was genuinely going to miss them--and I do!
A few positives about the field of internal med:
1. You take time to get to the deeper issue.
I loved this aspect of IM. We could spend two hours rounding on our patients just discussing cases, lab results, interpreting imaging studies and determining treatment regimens. At first I thought that I would not be patient enough for this type of thinking process, but as it turned out, I loved MEDICINE. I loved the process, the research to learn more about patient conditions, new treatments, etc. I was pleasantly surprised that this was the aspect I loved the most.
2. You may have patients for a few days, or maybe only one day.
There is a nice variety that comes with IM. Some patients come and go while others spend days with a complicated condition. This allows you to get to know your patients a little better. Everyday, we walked into their rooms and built a rapport with them.
3. You are working with a network of people.
From nurses, to social workers, to techs and other docs/PA's, there are so many people around to offer advice and discuss cases amongst. I felt that when used properly, the network of people surrounding the medicine team is extremely beneficial. Afterall, you don't have to do EVERYTHING by yourself.
Now many of these points are also true to other fields of medicine as well such as family practice and even pediatrics to a degree. But this rotation made me thing differently about medicine...After this rotation, I am realizing now more than ever, that I really enjoy the "thought process" of disease/condition.