Monday, November 18, 2013

Rub a Dub Dub


What is a soap note? In theory they had instructed us in class a number of times. S: subjective, what the patient tells you. O: objective, labs, physical exam  and other pertinent clinical date. A&P: assessment and plan.  What are each of your patient's problems? And what exactly do you plan to do about them?

Sounds deceptively simple.

My last post was kind of a whine-a-thon and I can be honest about it.  But underneath that is a thread of true frustration that I felt.  It was horrifying to spend a month doing something and seeing myself stagnate, I was barely keeping my head above water.  The next month I spent on medicine was absolutely a 180 degree difference.

So much of this experience is dictated by the team that surrounds you: the interns, the senior residents and the attending.  Granted my senior resident ran a tight shift, we were on call almost every other day and the medical students never went home earlier than the rest of the team but I learned so much.  By the end of my 3rd week in a feedback session the attending candidly told me that my first week I was difficult to follow and all over the place. But she added, now had gained confidence and honed my presentation skills to a level close to that of the interns around me.

I'm so happy.  Not just because of the complimentary feedback but because I feel like I am part of the team and am working and improving my skills.  It is dawning on me that this is the only time in my career I will get a sampling of everything in the way I am now.  This is it, the only training I may ever get in internal medicine if I choose another route.

It is so easy in medical training to get away from the true type of student that I was, always striving to be the best, always trying to make a good impression and always, always working as hard as I could.  These last few weeks have been mentally and physically exhausting with most days 12+ hours but I felt the drive that brought me to medical school start kindling again.