Essay on Family Medicine

  • Category: Health, Medicine,
  • Words: 580 Pages: 3
  • Published: 14 January 2022
  • Copied: 186

Have you ever continued watching a show because you have to find out what happens to the characters? When it comes to patients, I find myself wanting to know what happens after they leave the hospital. Almost every patient’s plan is embedded with the accustomed, “Follow up with primary care physician” — a phrase that has helped me appreciate the vital role that family physicians play in patient care. To me, family medicine provides the perfect opportunity to treat the patient as a whole and to be involved in continuity of care.

During my time on OB/GYN, I was able to experience the importance of empathy and a holistic approach to patient care. One week, I met a 32-year-old at 23 weeks’ gestation coming in for gastro reflux. Although I initially assumed this would be a simple case, it turned out to be much more. While discussing social history, the patient went on to explain how her husband passed away earlier this year and how she did not find out she was pregnant until a few weeks after he had passed. As she told her story, both her and I started to get teary-eyed. I could not imagine how hard it must have been for her to handle so many tragedies, miracles, and mixed emotions in such a short amount of time. Even though I did not do much besides listen and hand her tissues, the interaction held special significance. 

Looking back, I realize that no amount of studying could have prepared me for that moment. Far more meaningful than any score on an exam, in that instant, it was critical that I could be human; it was imperative that I could listen and connect. Similar to the feeling of stopping a movie prematurely, it pained me to not know what ended up happening to her. It helped me recognize that I want to be able to continue the story with my patients and have the opportunity to influence the beginning, middle, and end of their chapters.  

I recognized this need very early on in my first clinical year, and as time progressed, I realized it rang true for every patient population. When I see an elderly patient, I see my Lolo or Lola; when I see an obstetric patient, I see my sister-in-law; when I see a young teen, I see my little brother. I see the faces of others’ loved ones, and I recognize the significance of being able to care for them throughout the highs and lows of their lives. 

When it comes to hobbies, I find the one that helped shape me the most has overlapping similarities with family medicine. Golf is available for individuals of all ages, and also instills a long-term outlook. How you score at the end of an 18-hole, 4-hour round is a collective of every shot. It is about not letting the imperfect shots define the round, and recovering and learning from each hole in order to do better on the next. The humbling game of golf has taught me patience, composure, and the importance of maintaining a positive attitude throughout the round, no matter the challenges. 

While the didactic years of medical school provided a foundational base, I think most valuable in residency will be the personable attributes and clinical experiences I have gained. I offer a humanistic approach and a positive attitude in addition to textbook knowledge. I view family medicine as a chance to support and guide individuals throughout their lives. I hope to have the privilege of becoming a family physician so that I can have the opportunity to build lasting bonds with patients from all stages of life and help navigate the various health challenges that come with each stage.

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