Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Rotations: The First Day

Montage of Family MedicineImage via WikipediaWell, I've completed the first day of my first clinical rotation and I almost feel a little guilty because things went so well. My instructor/supervisor and I seem to enjoy working together and all of our patients left feeling better than they did when they arrived. All in all, I think we can call this one a success. So far, that is. I still have plenty of time to screw up, though, believe me, that's not at all my intention.

The setting for this rotation is a private practice in neuromuscular medicine utilizing osteopathic manipulative therapy. Unlike one in family medicine, for example, where I'd see patients with a variety of medical as well as psychiatric conditions, most of the patients in this rotation have some kind of somatic, i.e. physical, pain resulting from injury, repetitive use/misuse, or age-related degeneration. OMT involves using one's hands to apply prescribed techniques for the relief of pain and restoration of normal functioning.

The good thing about starting off with a neuromuscular rotation is, I'll get a solid basis for using OMT in other clinical settings, something I've wanted very much. At the same time, it's a reminder that I've been so focused on boards the past few months, I've forgotten some skills and need a serious refresher.

Even better is getting immediate satisfaction for your work. In psychiatry, we learn to defer gratification because psychological change occurs incrementally over time. With OMT, patients often show visible improvement at the end of a treatment session and it feels good knowing I've had a "hand" in that.

Best of all, the awareness that I'm not simply in the office for a day, but will be around the entire month is wonderful. It means I'm not asleep, I'm not dreaming, and I'm not going to wake up in the morning to find boards still looming in the distance. And that feels really, really good.

(GNU Free Documentation image via Wikipedia)
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