The happy life of Family Medicine 2


I’ve spent the past 4 weeks learning as much as I possibly can about family medicine. This basically equates to learning as much as I can about medicine, in general, because family medicine doctors really do everything! I’m so impressed with the broad and far-reaching knowledge base that family medicine physicians have and how well they seem to manage balancing 101 different medical problems in one patient.

One of the benefits to rotating through family medicine as a student is that you get to see so much variety in patients and pathology. You might be in the room with a 2 month old one minute and then in with an 85 year old the next. There is exposure to EVERYTHING from skin rashes to broken bones to ongoing management of Diabetes and High blood pressure. It is a great field for people who really do love everything about medical management.

Beyond the vast knowledge base and exposure what impressed me the most about family medicine is how genuinely happy everyone is here. Even before introducing myself to residents, attendings, and nurses, I was greeted with huge smiles and welcomes. It is the most encouraging and gratifying learning environment I’ve been in, and the camaraderie and support here is overwhelmingly positive.

There are a lot of hurdles in family medicine (as there are probably in any field), but the most frustrating from my perspective is the time constraint. Frequently, patients will come in with multiple medical problems and/or multiple complaints, making it impossible to condense the visit to 15 minutes. Most of the time, it becomes difficult to save one of those problems for another visit because fast action is needed. Then the doctors run behind and before you know it your patients have been waiting 2 hours. On the plus side, these physicians still dedicate adequate time to each person. While they may have to wait a while, they can expect to get the same high quality care that the patient before them did.

The upshot for me is that I loved having the opportunity to experience family medicine, but also know it’s not the field for me. I miss having inpatient (hospital) experience and also really miss being in the operating room!

Although I technically have more free time on this rotation, my commute ends up eating 2 hours of my day. I needed to adapt by continuing my 5am home workouts and planning ahead for fast dinners. But I’ve had some great ones!

salmon bok choy

Couldn’t help leaving Macy in this picture

I’ve made this salmon every week- just pan sear it in sesame oil and then bake with sauce that’s 1 tablespoon soy sauce to 1 tablespoon honey. Then I sauteed bok choy with shitake mushrooms using this recipe. It takes 30 minutes, tops!

I also made tilapia taco bowls last night. Remember when I posted this coconut chicken recipe? Well, I used the coconut milk marinade to cook jasmine rice (1 part marinade to 1 part water). Then I sauteed spinach and threw together corn and black beans with some olive oil, lime zest/juice and coriander. I also sauteed tilapia with a rub: 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon oregano, and 1 teaspoon paprika. Topped everything with chopped avocado and dinner was ready in about 45 minutes. Win!

tilapia taco bowl

I also tried a few new body rock workouts. One of my new favorite moves are semi-circle mountain climbers. They are just like normal mountain climbers but you move your feet from side to side as you run them in.

My family medicine exam is in one week! After that I have my last rotation of third year- 10 weeks on internal medicine. Before I know it, I’ll be applying to residency!

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2 thoughts on “The happy life of Family Medicine

  • Farrah

    Oh, the time constraint makes me super sad too. I so want to address every single problem, but alas! I’m hoping I’ll still be able to dedicate a reasonable amount of time with each though, and I love the variety! 😛 I wasn’t as much of a fan of inpatient medicine, but the OR was a lot of fun!