Internalized Medicine

It seems my last two clerkships, Psychiatry and Family Medicine, were readily blogworthy. In addition to the medical aspects of care, our curriculum included plenty of interesting material on provocative aspects of health care, conflicts of interest, evidence-based medicine, rights of the mentally ill, personality disorders, and many more. The lighter schedule didn't hurt the postings, either.

The Internal Medicine clerkship has less room for anything other than Internal Medicine. I find it just as intriguing, actually. The problem is, it's harder to make pleural effusion palatable to a lay audience (my stats indicate a fair number of you are here to read about Quiznos subs). Doc Shazam and Hermes both do a good job of weaving patient's stories with medical information and decisions, and that's something I plan to work on... when I have a little more perspective on what's going on.

Most notably, the continuity-of-care means I'm connecting more with patients. As days go by, their ups and downs have come to affect me more than I expected, based on earlier clerkships. The other day I cheered and high-fived my resident when a patient's potassium labs came back. I can't recall being that excited about lab results during any other clerkship (if it helps to convey the drama, I'll add that she had RTA and had just started a course of Amphotericin B).

The downs are real downers, though. Our team had a storm cloud over us today, following some surprisingly bad news relayed by the night float. A small consolation: it might make a good teaching case... with some more perspective.