After eight brief weeks, I have officially completed my internal medicine clerkship. This rotation was an amazing experience, albeit one filled with moments of enlightenment,confusion and laughter, frustrations and joy. It was an opportunity to connect with patients from diverse backgrounds, create a difference in someone’s life and undergo some major growth. Two essentials I will carry from this experience are:
- In medical education, your skin grows!
- The more you know, the more you realize you don’t know.
Rather than simply appraising this rotation as a hurdle successfully jumped, it is important to reflect about this experience. I approached this rotation with an open mind-- with awareness that internal medicine is the core of all medical specialties.
I can foresee a future as an internist… but perhaps it is too early to know.
In the process of learning the mandatory objectives, I also recognized certain qualities about myself which will help me tremendously and some that will hinder me in the future. My OCD tendency to pay attention to detail appears to be an advantage, whereas my inclination to become a bit too attached is likely to hinder my “objectivity” … Regardless, there is still time to improve and learn.
One the last day of rotation I took time to bid farewell to someone who I followed for approximately 4 weeks on the inpatient wards. Given her language and cultural barriers I was able to advocate for her at various levels during this time…
She shed tears, but smiling, wished me luck on this journey-- the reality is that I’ve gained so much more from this experience.