Ricardo, an AMO visitor from Mexico, participated in an AMO virtual rotation in internal medicine last year. Check out his story below, and read about his senses stimulating experience that made him feel right inside the clinic.

My Virtual Rotation: NOT a Locked-in Syndrome

Locked-in syndrome is defined as “a condition where the person experiences quadriplegia and bulbar palsy due to damage in the brainstem. Cognition and vertical eye movements are preserved in many patients” (M Das J et al., 2021). Basically, you can hear, see, and think but you can’t move or communicate verbally. The latter is the first that came to my mind when I thought about committing to a virtual rotation.

In the end, this was nothing further from reality.

I arrived in New Jersey virtually through Zoom. On the first day, Dr. Q introduced me to the group. We were three international medical graduates starting the same day, and, to my surprise, I was the only one there on a tablet.

It didn’t take long to feel confident under the guidance of Dr. Q. He is kind and knowledgeable. He answered all our questions, and he didn’t limit himself to yes or no responses. Instead, he explained the reasons why in a detailed, evidence-based, and uncomplicated way. If he had an experience related to it, he brought it out for us to learn from it.

During the rotation, I was introduced to the real day-to-day challenges of Internal Medicine. We were exposed to a high diversity of patients with a great variety of diseases, from whom we learned a lot. This helped me to confirm that Internal Medicine is the path I want to pursue.

I want to highlight that Dr. Q speaks Italian fluently, and it is common for him to attend to patients who are Italian speakers, which makes him proud to help them. I feel identified in that, in the same way, I would like to help people who are Spanish speakers. Thanks to this, I’m enrolling in an Italian course next year to expand my ability to assist and communicate.

During this experience, I could hear and see everything, and I prepared myself coffee each morning, as they do in the office, so 4 out of 5 of my senses were covered during the rotation as if I was there.

Correction: I was there. I wish I could have taken the blood pressure once, but I guess you can’t have it all.

Lastly, I want to thank Dr. Q, his staff, my rotation colleagues who never let me fall, and the AMOpportunities team for this unique experience and for making this the best closure my year could have.

“Always remember: your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999).