Day 46: Changing views

Today’s inane image of the day:
A view of the Grand Canyon [from my road trip] — isn’t it breathtaking?
I find it fascinating how our view and understanding of the world around us is constantly molded by each new experience. Having never really traveled much, when I initially posed the idea of going on the road trip with Mike, I didn’t actually believe I’d go through with it. But weeks later, I found myself slowly but surely driving westward.

When we finally made it to the Grand Canyon, and I couldn’t believe what I saw. All at once, I felt disoriented but calm, enamored but frightened [I’m scared of heights…]. But the best feeling of all, was fulfillment. It wasn’t the kind of satisfaction that accompanies volunteer work, but the kind where you can happily cross something off your lifetime must-see/do list.
Today, I can add my first [standardized] patient interview to my basket of view-changing experiences.
There was nothing particularly remarkable about the experience; we were put into groups of 5 or 6 and assigned an attending and a room. We were further separated into pairs and each pair interviewed a standardized patient [in front of 4-5 other classmates and the attending]. After settling into our room, I offered to go first.
In retrospect, I wish the session had been recorded like our Medical Humanities interviews were. Although I was slightly nervous, I was also comfortable. Outside of that, I don’t really remember much of my interview [with the exception of the fact that I forgot to ask about smoking history… my patient presented with a cough…].
What did stick, were the interviews my peers conducted. I was in a very talented group of interviewers, but I still left the session amazed at how much we still had to learn about the art of patient interaction. So much can be said through facial expression, intonation, and overall body language. Yet, during the interview, many of us are so unaware of what we are conveying. Many of us remain blind to the subliminal messages we are sending.
Today’s medical school fact of the day: The brachial artery is a continuation of the axillary artery and runs through the arm. It has three branches: Profunda brachii artery, Super ulnar collateral artery, Inferior ulnar collateral artery. – From Dr. Bee’s lecture notes

5 thoughts on “Day 46: Changing views

  • September 30, 2011 at 2:10 am

    Excellent post! Sounds like you’re well aware of your self and the patient. It’s hard or nearly impossible to teach compassion, looks like you’ve got that covered though.

    PS. Santorini is happening. Get ready.


  • October 2, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Please, please provide more specifics. 😮

    You get the reader interested but then end the story without explaining your ideas.

    What did you observe about the other student interviewers? Did they show disgust with the patient? Were they rushed? Did they resort to medical lingo? Did they not make eye contact?

    We know that you didn’t like something they did, but have no idea what it was.

    Aside from that, keep up the posts. I like them!

  • October 2, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    @Anonymous: There are times when I purposely leave out specifics, and one of those times is when it pertains to my peers. Many of my classmates read my blog — could you imagine finding one of your group members critiquing you publicly? Also, then comes the question of identity — maybe someone thinks it was them but in reality it isn’t.

    But since you asked specific questions — I saw none of those things while watching my peers. There wasn’t “something they did” that I didn’t like. It just occurred to me how much is said without conscious realization [whether it be positive or negative] while I was watching them. Furthermore, I was mostly critiquing myself — I personally *don’t* know what I said through my own posture, hand gestures and facial expressions, and I wish I did [or that someone told me].

    Thank you for your comment though!

  • October 3, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Ok, that makes sense.

    I realized after I posted that you might be doing this on purpose because of your blog’s public nature. 😛

    I guess blogging anonymously might be advantageous because you could reveal a bit more about others… but then again, blogging anonymously would prevent the reader from identifying with you because your name/school would be hidden.

    In other news, I am interviewing at OUWB this November. that’s why I started reading your blog. In my eyes you are kind of like the school’s ambassador.

    -same anonymous as before

  • October 4, 2011 at 11:04 pm

    @Anon: If you have any burning questions prior to your November interview, please feel free to email me and setup a time to chat [voice, video, in-person, whatever!].

    I do see *some* advantages to anonymity, but I personally wanted to get my name and ideas out in the medical community earlier in my career. After all, a statement is more powerful when you understand who it’s coming from.

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