If you have been keeping up with our monthly AMO Photo and Blog Contest, you might recognize Saudi medical student, Raad, as the winner from March. Raad decided to participate in a second clinical experience with AMO, and we couldn’t be happier to share his story with you. The personal connections he made and the medical knowledge he obtained while in his four-week family medicine clinical experience in Florida is the type of experience we hope all our visitors have. Continue reading below for the full scope of what a clinical experience can be when approached with enthusiasm and a hunger for knowledge.
Medicine is a Team Sport
For my second clinical experience with AMO, I selected an outpatient clinical experience in family medicine. This was my first time encountering the specialty of family medicine, and it ended up being a great experience. With the support of the beloved team at the office, I was able to discover my potential talents in this area of medicine.
On my first day at the office, I met my other rotation-mates; Arelis and Elsa. Our attending physician, Dr. L, handed out coffee and water while we visited. This simple act of kindness and hospitality made us feel less nervous and helped us to become better aquatinted with one another. Then we began orientation and learned about everything at the office. Dr. L introduced us to other team members, including the medical assistants, nurse practitioners, front desk attendants, and even the manager. Everyone was welcoming and willing to help us. George, the manager, ended up being a really great help. He swung by the office every once in a while to give us business advice for the future. It was really beneficial. I wasn’t expecting life-changing information from a renowned business professional during my rotation. That was a win, indeed.
That very same day, we started seeing patients one at a time. Before entering a patient’s room, Dr. L made sure that we were wearing our personal protective equipment. Although there was a lot of stress due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we made an effort to meet our patients with friendly personalities and optimism. We were supported continuously by our attending physician, the rest of the medical team, and the patients, who were very thankful that we were in the field to serve them. Also, McDonald’s and Starbucks were giving out free meals and coffee to healthcare professionals around the nation! All of this fueled us with the energy needed to make the most of the clinical experience.
During my four weeks with Dr. L, I got to withdraw blood for the very first time in my life! The patient I practiced on was Elsa, one of the other medical students rotating with me. You can probably imagine how stressed I was. Elsa encouraged me, and I withdrew her blood successfully. I fell in love with blood work at that moment and got excited about doing everyone else’s. I took responsibility and resetting the equipment for the next patient. Everyone around me appreciated this, especially our attending physician. In return, he promised I could do as much bloodwork as I wanted.
Outside of bloodwork and patient consultations, we got to observe procedures like ear irrigations, abscess I&D, IM injections, IV cannulation, and more. We were also invited to many online lectures by medical representatives.
We also had the chance to meet other people important in the field like Dr. M, an ER physician at the hospital. He taught us a lot by simulating case scenarios. We practiced managing a case with a patient seizing after her blood was drawn at the office. It was my first time considering that such a thing could happen. I’m more confident now about how to act in such a critical situation. We also met a lovely nurse practitioner who previously worked as an ER nurse. She helped us when a patient fainted after getting his blood drawn. She was a great leader and instructed us to flatten the chair, raise his legs, and bring him some cold water. I will never forget that experience! She delivered all the commands calmly, which helped everyone listen. With her help, we managed to bring the patient back. He explained that the experience was not unusual for him. It turns out he’s not good with needles. We also learned about the specifics of interacting with patients from the medical assistant at our office. She helped us put patients into their rooms and take their vitals.
Aside from learning from healthcare professionals, I learned from my fellow medical trainees. They gave me decent advice and tips on how to prepare for my upcoming USMLE tests. They were very supportive and informative, which made me more optimistic. I remember them telling me, “it doesn’t matter how slowly you go as long as you don’t stop.”
At the end of the experience, everybody gave us praise for working in harmony. They shared how distinguished our bedside manners had become, which I was thrilled about! I am grateful to Dr. L for helping us to push past the limits we set. He always said, “every expert was once a beginner.” He made us believe in ourselves and gave us the chance to discover our talents and potentials. On our last day, my mates thanked everyone by giving flowers.
This family medicine clinical experience was so dear to me. It helped me to form a strong bond with my fellow medical trainees and the attending physicians. I have to thank everybody at the office who became my family abroad! Also, I would like to thank my AMO coach, Jordan, for helping me select the perfect experience at such a challenging time.
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