After four months of being off rotations, I am excited to finally be returning to clinical come early July. It is a very unique situation that we are in, for I have heard that our roles will be very different now; for example, most outpatient clinical rotations are conducted via telehealth, which includes patient visits via webcam. I am curious to see how the flow of the clinic visit, as well as the ease of diagnosis, will be affected without being able to physically examine a patient. I imagine much of this will rely on the patient’s ability to verbally relay his/her symptoms to us, and clear communication will become more important than ever.
In the hospital, I am apprehensive about the availability of PPE and the restrictions that the administration may have placed on the role of medical students in inpatient care. On top of all of this, I am also apprehensive about my ability to smoothly transition back into rotations. We have not been removed from clinical care for more than a month at most, and to have been away from the hospital for four months is quite substantial. It is a bit nerve-wracking to think that my clinical skills have not been in use for so long, and I am sure my confidence in oral presentations must have deteriorated somewhat. Having spent the last 1.5 years in clerkships, however, I am hopeful that this will come back to me quickly. It is definitely going to be a different experience though with COVID-19 still being a significant concern that will not be going away anytime soon. Above anything else, I will need to fix my sleep schedule in the next two weeks before resuming clinical responsibilities, because my circadian rhythms certainly have been disrupted severely by lack of a strict schedule.