Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments

Mentoring Medical Students In Primary Care

“Dr. A, your student is here,” the front desk squawks through the intercom. “Sheesh,” I say to myself as I look at my full schedule of patients. Now, don’t get me wrong. I really enjoy teaching. Something I do know is that I could not do teaching full time. I thought about possibly joining a residency program or exploring the possibility of teaching full time at the med school. But, at this point in my career, patient care is still my passion.

What docs never say (in public) but always think is that students definitely slow down the productivity and efficiency of office hours. I mean, teaching does take a long time – at least being a good teacher or student “mentor.” But, we all know that at one point in our medical career, we were that student who didn’t know that much and were afraid to ask a “dumb” question.

My patients and my office staff are great in that they take things in stride. When I tell the same story for the 20th time to a new student in the office, they understand. I mean, hey, primary care is as much about the patient’s story as it is about their medical conditions.

I don’t think I influenced the student in choosing primary care as a career (not sure if that is even possible these days). But, at least I hope that I conveyed to this student that despite all the roadblocks in the way of doing my job (state/federal regulations, insurance companies, fear of frivolous lawsuits), I still love what I do (really) and I would choose this career path again….

*This blog post was originally published at Doctor Anonymous*


You may also like these posts

Read comments »


Comments are closed.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

How To Make Inpatient Medical Practice Fun Again: Try Locum Tenens Work

It s no secret that most physicians are unhappy with the way things are going in healthcare. Surveys report high levels of job dissatisfaction burn out and even suicide. In fact some believe that up to a third of the US physician work force is planning to leave the profession…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

Unaccountable: A Book About The Underbelly Of Hospital Care

I met Dr. Marty Makary over lunch at Founding Farmers restaurant in DC about three years ago. We had an animated conversation about hospital safety the potential contribution of checklists to reducing medical errors and his upcoming book about the need for more transparency in the healthcare system. Marty was…

Read more »

See all book reviews »