I don't think I could have possibly crammed any more into today than I did, but all in all, it was a good day. We had a joint FCM session over at Case, and they put us in mixed groups with the UP students like last month. This time, the speaker understood that he was not supposed to go on for the entire hour and a half, and we actually had some time to discuss the topic with our group members. We were talking about health care access, and specifically the fact that people with private insurance get the most access to care, people with no insurance get the least, and people on Medicaid have access somewhere in between. Ok, not too surprising, but still useful stuff for future physicians to know and think about, and my group had a pretty lively discussion going. So I would say that this FCM session went pretty well, as far as FCM goes.
When we got back to CCF, we had a renal histology seminar. It's really hard to intepret the slides, especially the electron micrographs. The speaker was good, and he was doing his best to help us, but it's still nearly impossible anyway. So, we were already feeling kind of lost and frustrated with trying to interpret these slides. And then in the middle of this, we get an email that we are now required to write an essay for FCM about health care access, due on the 18th to our FCM small group preceptors. This did not go over well with my classmates at all. Coincidentally, there was an FCM feedback meeting today after the histo seminar. I wasn't invited to participate, so I can't tell you much about the meeting. (They pick different people each time, and I participated in the summer block feedback meeting last month, so I won't get picked again for a while now.) Personally, the essay requirement doesn't bother me too much. I think that for the amount of time it will take to argue about it, it's easier to just write it and get on with more important things. I'm much more concerned about not letting the required community project become a huge time sink than I am about churning out a silly essay.
In the afternoon today I had clinic, and it was absolutely awesome. I only saw two patients. But they were both super nice, and because there were only two of them, I got to spend more time with each of them and do a really thorough ear, nose, and throat exam on each of them. (I was able to see their eardrums with no problem whatsoever.) One thing that really hit me today was how difficult it is sometimes to deal with a patient's cultural beliefs if they don't mesh with what modern science says. For example, one of the patients did not think that she needed to have a mammogram because she eats raw garlic. I am not sure how or why she got this idea that raw garlic would prevent breast cancer, but she was firmly convinced of this, and nothing that my preceptor or I could say would change her mind. In that kind of situation, the only thing you can do is to tell the person that this is your medical recommendation, and then document in their chart that they have refused to follow medical advice. My preceptor also wrote up my evaluation for this block, and it was mostly complimentary. I thought the few criticisms on there were pretty fair. Mainly, I need to work on improving my speed and facility with conducting the physical exams, and that is the kind of thing that will come with practice.
I still got out of clinic early since there were only two patients, and I actually had time to make it to anatomy office hours. I ran into two of my classmates who were on their way over, so I decided to go with them. Dr. Drake went through all four of the cadavers with us, and it was absolutely awesome. He is really good at explaining everything, and I feel like I got a ton out of it. The other good thing is that since I was able to go in today, now I won't have to come in on Thursday for anatomy office hours. Who can complain about having an unexpected day off, right? :-)