Saturday, January 17, 2009

Which specialty?

A quick apology for how long it has taken to post again. I just got back from a medical service trip to the Dominican Republic, and the last 1 1/2 months have been eaten up with this.

To continue the previous narrative...

When I entered med school, I was determined to serve in a MUA with rural sites highest on my list. I was sure I didn't want to be a surgeon or "interventionalist", but wasn't sure what primary care area was most appealing to me. Pediatrics and Family Medicine (FM) were highest on my list, but I didn't know which to choose.

Over the first 2 years, my community preceptors in Foundations of Clinical Medicine (FCM) were family physicians. I began to realize that the scope of practice FM was really appealing: adults, geriatrics, pediatrics, Ob/Gyn, minor surgery--all could be included in practice. As I spent time on rotations in rural sites such as southside Virginia, the Northern Neck and the Eastern Shore, I began to realize that this scope of practice would fit in wonderfully with the services needed in these areas.

I applied and matched to the Blackstone Family Practice residency program (which no longer exists in the same form) for my post-graduate training. This program was based in a small rural town of about 3,500 people, and we were at least 30-45 minutes from the nearest hostpital. We were asked to provide a broad scope of services, and did not have much access to specialist care: we had to do as much as we were comfortable doing. We also had to provide emergency/urgent care, especially since our volunteer rescue squad wasn't always readily available.

I feel that this training, and working in this community, provided me with a strong foundation in working in MUAs. This reinforced my desire to keep working in a rural MUA, and meant that I had to find a job.

(to be continued...)

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