In late June, I began my third year of medical school and clinical rotations. I spent 8 weeks on Internal Medicine, and to sum it all up, I learned A LOT.
For my first 4 weeks, I spent time at the university hospital. This was one of the best months I could have ever imagined. I’m convinced I had the best team EVER. My attending was caring, kind, brilliant, and she taught me more than you could know. If I had a dollar for all of the teaching moments we had, then maybe I could pay for a semester of med school, just kidding—or am I? She wasn’t the only person who taught me well; my patients did a lot of teaching me too. They taught me how to be more compassionate and how to be a better doctor. They taught me what it meant to truly heal; I don’t mean finding a cure or making them feel better physically. They taught me how to be well-rounded with emotion playing a big role. This month taught me a lot of why many medical students choose to go into Internal Medicine.
For my second 4 weeks, I spent time at the VA hospital. I’ll put it this way—I most definitely had better days. The hours were longer; however, my residents and attending were kind. The dynamic was just a bit different. The patients were very sick and had been through a lot of life. It’s crazy to think of all of those who served for us to keep our freedom. It was an enlightening month, to say the least.
All in all, my best piece of advice is to keep an open mind going into every rotation. You never know what field you may or may not fall in love with, and you also never know whose lives you’ll be able to touch with a bit of compassion.