Louisville Medicine Volume 65, Issue 8 - Page 22

FEATURE EXTERNSHIP REFLECTIONS from the UofL Student Body Recently, a handful of UofL medical students entering their second year were given the chance to work in a clinical setting for a pediatric summer externship. Following this experience, these students wrote about what they had learned from their work. Louisville Medicine is publishing three of the best recollections of these experiences. Enjoy, as we did, the thoughts of these physicians-in-training. Brandon Mudd W alking into the clinic on my first day, I was unsure what to expect as this was my first shadowing experience in outpatient pediatrics. I had passed by the University of Louisville Pediatrics clinic’s door several times throughout my first year of medical school and wondered what it was like on the inside. As I peeked in the empty exam rooms, I began to wonder how I would apply the knowledge I learned during my first year of medical school in this setting. Would I need to know the Krebs cycle which had left my mind months ago? How was I going to apply the anatomy I learned to the patients in the clinic? How much I would learn? I quickly realized I would learn more than I could have ever imagined. The knowledge I had gained during the first year of medical school (other than the Krebs cycle) was put to use and expanded greatly - only my clinical knowledge, but I also gained practical skills. I also found that I applied anatomy knowledge in a very interesting way: to the clinic itself. I learned that the staff of the University of Louisville Pediatrics clinic all have a heart for kids, and I could not help but compare the clinic’s operations to the human heart. The clinic serves a unique population of children who face many obstacles in life; these make it difficult for the children and their parents to meet health care needs. I was amazed by the services offered within the clinic, and how well the different offices worked together to provide outstand- 20 LOUISVILLE MEDICINE ing patient care. The clinic’s two nurses’ stations reminded me of the atria of the heart. They send patients to the exam rooms and pass them to either the attending physicians or the residents, the ventricles. The WIC office, dental office and doctors & lawyers office reminded me of the coronary arteries. They support the heart and help it function to its full potential. Each office serves a vital role in providing the resources necessary for the clinic to serve its patients with the best possible care. I was honored to have had the opportunity to help carry out the wonderful work that is the heart of this clinic. My time in the clinic provided me with an unforgettable expe- rience that far exceeded my expectations. I was able to talk with patients on my own during my second day in clinic which allowed me to attempt, and then improve, my bedside manner. I saw a variety of presenting illnesses from “shot checks” to ringworm to well-child visits. In addition, I discovered the aspects of pediatrics that make the specialty unique and so rewarding. I also learned a great deal about how I see myself in practice as a future physician. I leave this experience determined to become the best physician I can be in order to serve the young people of my community as a pediatrician. My time with University of Louisville Pediatrics has taught me more than I could ever imagine and I am forever grateful to the physicians, nurses and staff that make the clinic such a wonderful place to learn and care for the even more wonderful children in our community.