We know many students have concerns about rotating during this time. Many of our sites are still open, and we have taken measures to ensure they are safe for our visitors. Don’t just take our word for it though, get it straight from the winner of our March 2020 Photo and Blog Contest, Raad, a medical student born in Jordan and raised in Saudi Arabia, participated in a dermatology clinical experience in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We love that Raad’s submission focuses on the community our visitors often find with their preceptors, medical staff, and the locals in the city where they complete their experience. At this time, coming together is more important than ever!
Continue reading below to find out what Raad liked best about his time in the U.S.!
I’d always dreamt about traveling to the U.S. I wanted to have a taste of what life would be like on the other side of the world. I also wanted to know more about the U.S. healthcare system. This clinical experience was my first time in the U.S.
After a long 20-hour flight, I was warmly welcomed by those working at the airport and Florida locals. I thought I would feel homesick the first few days. Surprisingly this did not happen. Everyone I ran into was friendly. During my evening walks, nearly every person I crossed smiled at me and said hello. I was always greeted kindly by those who were total strangers. Some even wanted to chat with me, which was pleasing.
I showed up for the first day of my dermatology rotation on March 2, 2020. Right away, I met my supervising physician, Dr.O., who is the attending physician at Broward Dermatology & Cosmetic Specialists. From the start, he made my stay even better. When I explained that it was my first time in the U.S., he happily introduced me to many amazing and talented people. I met with medical representatives and program directors at the hospitals where we did consultations. We divided our time between seeing our patients at the office and hospital consultations. On the first day, Dr. O. taught me how to do standard procedures. These included excisions, I&Ds, cauterizations, and biopsies. In one day, I saw more than 60 patients!
I loved the positive energy that I experienced while working with Dr. O and his team. Everyone was accommodating. I met with the head of the research department that works on psoriasis treatments. Dr.O. had her orient me with psoriasis treatment options, which included laser treatments. I also met residents who sometimes rotated with us at the clinic. They were eager to share their knowledge, and I learned a lot from them. By the end of the experience, I had seen a variety of dermatological cases. I fell in love with dermatology and my clinical experience.
Outside of the clinical experience, I spent a lot of time with the clinic staff members. They were like family to me. Some invited me to their birthday celebrations; others showed me around the area. On occasion, I spent time at their homes with their families. We watched movies, had meals, and even went kayaking together! It was a blast. These aspects of my clinical experience made it more than a learning process. It became the adventure of a lifetime!
Despite my clinical experience occurring during the COVID-19 pandemic, I felt more motivated than ever. The whole nation supported healthcare workers. Starbucks even provided us with free coffee! It was beautiful to see how everyone came together. My experience was exceptional in all ways. I give a lot of credit to Dr.O., his staff, and AMO team members Jordan and Sam for making it as great as it was!
Looking for a clinical experience in a warm location? Interested in Dermatology? Consider applying for the experience Raad participated in!