Ice, Eyes, and Nice Comments!

Christine, Fourth Year Medical Student

Hey readers!  As you probably already know, Match Day has come and gone, and I am still very excited for my next few years.  If you haven’t already watched it, Kristina Benfield, LLU School of Medicine’s Project Editor created a video about the celebration.  You can see it for yourself here:

Well, over the past few months, I have definitely been enjoying my 4th year of medical school.  I had fun traveling on interviews, meeting people, and eating lots of delicious food.  In addition, I have spent some time learning cool things too.

Some of my rotations/electives included:

  • Internal Medicine at the White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles, CA
  • EKG Cardiology class at Loma Linda University
  • Radiology at Riverside County Regional Medical Center
  • ICU/Critical Care Medicine at Kettering Medical Center in Kettering, Ohio
  • Anatomy at Loma Linda University

These were all excellent rotations that I recommend to future 4th year students.  I did not do any away rotations during my 3rd year of medical school, so it was fun to go to LA and Kettering to see how other hospitals work and meet new people.  The White Memorial and Kettering are both associated with LLU, and both are also beautiful hospitals.  Since I lived in California for almost my whole life, it was interesting to live in Ohio during the month of February.  I got to experience driving in snow and scraping my car, which are some things I am not used to.  Moreover, there was even a rare “ice day”.  After a night of frozen rain, I received the surprise of my car entrapped in layers of ice.  Oh my goodness!  I can handle rain.  I can handle snow.  But my car was literally an ice cube that morning!  I had to pull the car door really hard just to open it.  Then, I spent 45 minutes scraping a 1/4 of my windshield and rear.  Then, I was praying that nothing would happen to me as I was driving to work with an obstructed view.  Even though I only had to drive 1-2 miles to work, I had to pull over halfway because I was so scared.  In the future, if this ever happens to me, I’m taking a day off!  Besides that ice day, the snow was pretty.  I noticed the snow on the ground would sparkle, and it was beautiful!

Now, I am on Ophthalmology.  Wow, the eyes are like a whole new world!  They use some interesting instruments that magnify the eye.  There are even several ways to test the eye.  Even though I feel like I should be a confident 4th year medical student, being on this rotation where things seem so foreign can be depressing on my ego.  However, I am glad I get the chance to learn about ophthalmology.  Even more than that, I think that this rotation has reminded me of some important characteristics that a great physician should have.

Obviously, a solid knowledge of relevant medical knowledge is necessary.  This is something I felt I was lacking regarding ophthalmology, but the doctors have assured me that it’s okay because I am still learning, after all.  In fact, medicine involves constant learning.  Some other important characteristics that patients have told me they appreciate are: humbleness and empathy.  The ophthalmology patients that I interviewed and examined this week have told me that they appreciated that I would take the time to listen to them and explain what I was doing.

This week, God has blessed me with the opportunity to practice whole person care in the ophthalmology clinics.  One of the frustrating things about being a student is waiting to chief patients with residents/attendings.  However, I ended up using this time to get to know my patients outside of their eyes.  It was great.  Who knew I would spend my week in ophthalmology clinic praying with patients?

What I was surprised about were comments that patients left me with.  For some reason, patients seemed to be extra nice to me this week.  Here are some things that patients told me:

  • “Wow, you are almost done with medical school.  Congratulations!”
  • “Your parents must be very proud of you.”
  • “You are really smart!”
  • “I understand things better now that you explained it.”
  • “I feel like it was God’s plan for us to meet today.”
  • “You are so special!  I don’t know what it is about you, but I can just tell that you are special.  I feel like you are going to do great things in your life.  I don’t know why I feel like this, but you are just so special.”  Then, she says to my resident: “She is so special.  You are kind too, but she is just really special, and I don’t know why.”

What have I learned from all of this?  I have learned that a pleasant attitude, smiling, and patience go a long way.  Of course, solid medical knowledge is extremely important in treating patients, but humanism is what makes patients like doctors.  I already knew this, but it is good to have nice reminders.  🙂

One thought on “Ice, Eyes, and Nice Comments!

  1. Pingback: My Secrets to 4th Year Success | Loma Linda University School of Medicine Student Blog

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