Medicine · Random

Observations from Family Med

My orthopedics rotation has begun, and while I’m loving the bulky surgeons and blood and talk of bone plates and fixators and K wires and screws, I still have fond memories of the double month I spent in family medicine.  Here are a few observations I made during the rotation about the rotation:

-> The most annoying patients are those that try to read what you’re writing on the assessment sheet.

->Strike that.  The most annoying patients are the ones that refuse to give you a history.

you a med student? I ain't talkin' to a med student.

->Expect anything.  You can get something as simple as a cold and something as complex as a worsening MI.

->Old ladies are mostly sweethearts.  Always give ’em a cuddle and help them in and out of a room.

->Its extremely rare to find anyone over 40 without hypertension or diabetes or both.

->There are a lot more people drinking alcohol in this country on a regular basis than you’d imagine.

->There are a lot more people having unprotected, extra-marital sex than you’d imagine too.

->It can take up to half on hour of persistent, angled questioning to elicit a truthful sexual history.

you have syphilis in your report man! You didn't get that from the effing tooth fairy!

->never forget to find out the patient’s name.  If you rfer to them constantly as a 50-year-old-female, you are going to get your head whacked by the consultant.

->There are patients who will tell you their whole life story, and then there are patients who will talk as though each word costs them money to speak.

->An alarming number of patients break down during consultations.  Have tissues ready.

->Do not break down yourself.

->Middle-aged women are the ones most likely to begin asking you questions, given the slightest chance.

-> Multiple times you’re going to take a detailed, complex history only to have the consultant walk in and say “Ohh Mrs Naseer, how lovely to see you…no its alright, student, you don’t need to tell me, I’ve been treating her for years…”

->Tiny things hardly ever matter.  But if you miss them, you’ll get your head whacked again.

->There are less jangly workaholic consultants in family med.  They usually have their lunch on time.  But then they’re nicer for that too.  I have yet to meet a bad-tempered family med consultant.

->Patients will come to the same family med doc for years and years and years, and bring their myriad relatives, if you once manage to build that rapport with them.

Come, child. Let us go to Dr Hashmi together.

->Family med consultants often end up treating three to four generations of patients.  The Patient, his or her parents, his or her children and sometimes even grandchildren.

->You need to know about cheap alternatives for medicines.  A lot of patients are going to require them.

->About 70% of every consultation is just talking to the patient, counselling them, listening to them and convincing them to take care of themselves.  In no other department is one paid to sit and jabber so much.

And finally….

->As a med student, family med is where you’ll get the most thank-yous and the  nicest interactions with patients 🙂

19 thoughts on “Observations from Family Med

  1. Right you are about alcohol and extra-marital sex.

    An unmarried patient once came to Ob-Gyn with a perineal tear. The consultant was stitching the tear and the girl said that this has happened before too. After careful probing, she said that her chacha’s son wouldn’t leave her alone, kept making her do things :/ and she even had an abortion once.

    And there are so many other horrific stories that I find unbelievable in this country at times.

    Good post :D. Refreshing! I go back to Medicine now 😦

    1. there was a boy in our clinic the other day. 16, with partners of both sexes, multiple exposures, unprotected. I just sat there open mouthed for a few minutes when my collegue, who had admittedly done a good job in extracting all this info, told me all this.

      It’s sadder when its girls tho, especially young ones who don’t even know what’s happening because no one’s had the sense to warn them. Or they know but can’t prevent it. Poor girl.

      Anyway thanks! I hope your exams go spectacularly 😀 and get done soon.

  2. Now because I am ignorant of medical labels I can safely assume she went to the Ob-Gyn chiropracting clinic with a muscle tear in her leg, which happened because her cousin keeps forcing her to play football all the time. And she even had abrasions once.


  3. sounds like a busy place…. being a doc is hard but then once u are in it u are have no choice but to enjoy it however u can … of course there are moments of everything and that comprise life….. its good to see that “our family physician” is getting good practice 😛 haha

  4. I totally agree with you !! Some histories take so longgg & so much of effort whereas others are easy to inquire as well as heart wrenching.. I once volunteered to take one, in surgery rotation, in a group of 16 fellows, which turned out to be of abusive anal .. lead to the lady being gifted a colostomy bag, for her life!! 😦

    1. That is so tragic. Seriously, its stories like these that can take your faith out of humanity. Imean, what was the fault of the poor woman? And now she has to suffer for the rest of her life 😦 and these aren’t isolated cases either.

  5. Erm. What exactly is family med? 😀

    Agreed on the boozing and sleeping around. Friend from Ziauddin was horrified and fascinated when me and my sister were talking to her about this, the parties where everything goes on, the random hookups, the fuckbuddies, etc. 😀

  6. nice post
    u seem to be a very good student. which book you use for history and PE? I have bedside, Macleod’s, Ali, Hutchinson for Medicine and one more for surgery 🙂
    But I think that is a total mess that I have created so can u tell me which one is best and WHY??? I want to stick to one that is best.

    1. APOLOGIES. your comment had been put into spam for some reason, i think because you mentioned so many books it thought you were a spammer. hehe. I’m sorry about that.
      I use barbara bates and macleods for history and exam, but mostly I use just macleods.Why? Because Macleods is excellent for histories, especially system specific ones, and it also has good examination sequences. But the best thing about it is the small boxes and tables, they have differentials and important symptoms and other handy stuff that is very important to remember, so it makes studying easier.

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