One of my fourth year requirements is to complete a sub-internship in the specialty of my choice. At my school, I chose to do this rotation at an affiliated nearby community hospital with its own family medicine residency program, since my school technically doesn’t have a family medicine residency program located at the academic teaching hospital. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive being at a community hospital and I suppose I’m a bit biased because an academic teaching hospital is all I’ve really ever known. I’d never actually rotated at a community hospital before. Would the teaching be up to par? How would the support staff be like? How lost was I going to get on the first day?
Yet, my time at this dynamic family medicine residency program really changed what I thought would fit my goals and personality. I am now a huge proponent of community hospitals, especially those with unopposed family medicine programs where the residents are able to work directly with consultants and a lot of the academic bureaucracy has dissipated. Of course, there are still hiccups and some drawbacks to any place of employment, but I think overall, I found a supportive environment in which I would be able to thrive.
In my four weeks there, I learned so much medicine and had the opportunity to work closely with the residents and attendings. Contrary to what my friends and family members thought, this was a completely inpatient experience, specifically on the family medicine service! Everyone had thought I would be cruising with clinic hours, but that was not the case at all. In fact, I found the service to be a lot like my internal medicine clerkship, but full of much more laughter. I usually carried about 3-5 patients, presented on each of them during morning rounds, followed up on records, results, and other recommendations in the afternoons, and helped with admissions throughout the day. I saw patients with alcohol withdrawal and cellulitis. I took care of patients with C. diff colitis and hypertensive urgency. I learned about patients with upper and lower GI bleeds as well as patients in severe sepsis and septic shock. This was probably one of the best rotations I had and it was a valuable learning experience.