With Step 1 studying and the end of rotations approaching, it is time for our class to decide what we are interested in and appropriately schedule our next year to reflect that in terms of acting internships, electives, and obtaining letters of recommendation. I love Internal Medicine and cannot wait to pursue the road to applying for IM residency. People often ask me what about hospitalist IM I am so passionate about, and there are so many things I love about it, but the main aspects include:
- The investigative aspect of it: I find that although patients are streamlined through the ED to us and often have a majority of their workup completed, the diagnosis is usually still not quite clear. I think it is super fun to examine the patient for clinical symptoms and get an overall picture, run tests/imaging if needed to act as a detective and solve the mystery of their symptoms.
- All the medicine! You have to know everything, even if you plan on sub-specializing later. This is what we came to medical school for, to learn medicine, so I love being able to apply the knowledge we worked so hard to obtain while learning a tremendous amount more in the process.
- Collaboration in the hospital: Working closely with social work, nursing, and other specialties is something I love about IM in the hospital. It’s awesome to complete that initial workup, and either coordinate care with another specialty (we’ve frequently consulted neurology, cardiology, pulmonology, endocrinology, infectious disease, oncology, surgery) or get their consultation on a patient. It is fun to learn from other specialties, and see how your care of a single patient can intersect. I have also learned more about the role of social work, OT, PT, nurses, and pharmacists in the hospital and realize they play an extremely crucial role in the longitudinal care of a patient. Personally, having pharmacists on hand has been SIGNIFICANTLY helpful for me.
- The patients: Most of the patients in the hospital are pretty sick, and have numerous comorbid conditions that we end up managing alongside the acute problem they came in for. Previously daunted by anything related to cardiology, I now feel much more comfortable managing heart failure and acute coronary disease. I love that you are considering the patient as a whole, and not ignoring the problems that aren’t acutely the chief complaint.