Since my General Surgery rotation, I have completed OB-GYN, Ophthalmology and Internal Medicine as well. Each one was unique in its own right.
OBGYN : I enjoyed this rotation much more than I originally thought I would. It allowed me to get ALOT of hands on experience. I completed history and physical, breast exam, vaginal exam, pap smears, ultrasound, D&C, assisted during labor, on hysterectomies and much more. Although it was beautiful to assist on births, I realized that I loved the GYN aspect than the obstetrics. I can see myself as a GYN PA which is something I never thought I’d say.
Ophthalmology: This was an elective that I chose after I couldn’t get my first few choices and it rocked! I didn’t realize the amount of people who came into the clinic for acute and chronic eye problems. I got to work with some of the best residents and attending’s who taught my classmate and I the ropes. I worked on minor procedures such as removing a pterygium, cyst, complete full work on patients, learn to use the tonometry and much more. Ophthalmology was different from other specialty because you’re not doing a physical on the whole body, so I had to learn the anatomy of the eyes all over again, which parts to focus on depending on the complain of the patient and what sort of treatment to prescribe. It was a great experience that I will always carry with me.
Internal Medicine: My first rotation of the year and I’m glad it is over. I honestly felt like this rotation went on forever because it wasn’t my favorite one. I had a great team but IM was too slow for me. There wasn’t any “hands on” work which made it hard for me to like it. I enjoy doing something with my hands, which is why I like surgery. There are only so much venipuncture you can do until you’re over it. I did learned that you must advocate effectively for your patient while on this rotation. I had to speak up regarding the treatment plans for some of my patients and I had an attending who listened to us. Always keep your patient needs a top priority.
Take away points :
- Ask questions. If you’re not sure of a lab value, vitals, status or information, don’t make it up to look good for that moment. Just say, “Idk, but I’ll check & get back to you”. It shows that you’re taking responsibility and not placing a patient’s health in jeopardy.
- Introduce yourself. Never walk into the delivery room without prior introduction of yourself. I have seen some students walk into the room and proceed to assist with deliveries without any introduction. It is simply rude and unprofessional.
- It is more than okay to quote Uptodate. Everyone uses Uptodate because that is one of the fastest and easiest ways to cross reference your treatment plan. Don’t be embarrassed.
- Use your down time wisely. IM had a lot of downtime and I used those moments to study. I brought my PPP and laptop to clinical so I never have an excuse for not working. I would ask the team if they needed help and when they don’t, I’ll study
- Be open. I didn’t think I’d enjoy my elective but I did. Just remember that each experience has some value and it is teaching you to know what type of PA you’d like to be.
- Plan ahead. Look up the direction to your rotation site and plan for any mishap. Pack your lunch ahead, have a snack in you pocket, dress warm for the winter hours because you don’t want to be tardy or get sick
How did I PASS my EORs??
- I prayed ALOT to God.
- I printed out the topic list from PAEA (our school uses their EOR exams).
- Read Pance Prep Pearl’s according to the topics needed. PPP went everywhere with me, literally.
- Blueprint OBGYN and First Aid OBGYN textbooks
- StepUp to Medicine for IM
- OnlineMedEd videos for an “in lecture” recap & took notes.
- Rosh Review and Smarty Pance for questions. I also used Rosh boost EOR exam for OBGYN & IM.
Any questions, comment, e-mail and check out my Instagram for frequent updates.