Tuesday, October 29, 2019

Rotation 4: General Medicine (Internal Medicine)

Posted by Sarah Choi at Tuesday, October 29, 2019

My fourth rotation was in general medicine rotation. We’re allowed to rank the type of general medicine rotation we want. The choices include internal medicine, surgery, emergency department, and pediatrics. I ranked internal medicine as my top choice after hearing from previous P4 students that it’s a challenging rotation that to prepare you for residency, and luckily I got it.

Typically my days started with working up patients—either the old ones from the previous day or any new patients who came in overnight. I had a maximum of 10 patients at once, and my patient list typically averaged 8-10 depending on the day. After working up patients, I met with my preceptor to pre-round, where we would briefly go through the patients and any recommendations I wanted to make to the team.

I rounded with one attending and one of two residents (they would switch every other day). Together we would go to patients’ rooms to discuss the patient outside the room before checking in with them every day. Rounds were the time I had a chance to make recommendations and ask any clarifying questions about the patient’s treatment. After rounds, which typically lasted three hours, I would take the time to educate patients on anticoagulation or ask clarifying questions.

Most days I met with my preceptor once more to review what happened on rounds and see if there were any other interventions to make. After that, I would attend/give a presentation as all general medicine students are required to lead a journal club, present a topic discussion, and present a patient case.

Overall, this rotation was very challenging, but I learned so much about different disease states and medication. I was able to apply the therapeutic knowledge I built in school and see how the things we learn in class translate to patients. I was also able to improve my patient presentation and workup skills. I didn’t know much about being an internal medicine pharmacist prior to this rotation, but it definitely showed me how vital they are to the team and how large of an impact you can have on patients.

In my next rotation block I’ll be exposed to another field of pharmacy, drug information, which I don’t know much about, so hopefully I’ll be able to fine-tune what aspects I want out of my career as I’m exposed to more aspects of pharmacy. It’s strange to think that my P4 year is half done with this rotation; I’m excited to see what else the rest of the year has in store for me!

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