I’m currently finishing up my Community Medicine rotation in Scappoose, OR. The town reminds me a bit of where I grew up – small, close-knit community. Here, I’ve had the opportunity to take part in chronic disease management including diabetes and hypertension care, as well as treat acute illnesses and injuries. I have found Family Medicine to be broad, intellectually stimulating, and incredibly fulfilling. As a prior ED tech, I’d never had the opportunity to follow-up with patients after they left the emergency room. Now I am seeing patients for follow-up appointments and building relationships, even as a student! I am able to learn about the evolution of diseases, and ways in which to eliminate/modify these diseases over time.

I have put to use much of what I learned last year, and then some. I am calling forth information from the depths of my Clin Med storage and revisiting learning topics from last year. I absorb as much as I can from my preceptors and patients by listening and asking questions (knowing when not to ask questions, too!). Repetition of concepts and skills has been really helpful in my learning.

Tough to believe, but it’s already the end of our 3rd rotation. If you do the math, I guess that means we’re nearly 2/3rds done with the program and less than 10 months away from becoming practicing Physician Assistants! Perhaps you can sense my (mild?) anxiety. That said, I look forward to future rotations, and the chance to augment my knowledge base and refine my skills!

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Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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