During our second year of medical school, students participate in a course called ‘Advanced Doctoring’. The name was at first surprising to me, because as a beginning second year medical student, I still struggled to distinguish a systolic versus diastolic murmur. During the course, small groups of students would round with a preceptor on Saint Marys Hospital inpatient units, interview and examine patients, and present them to their small group.
Speaking with individuals suffering from diseases made the medicine I was reading in books more real. I will always remember the amazing patients I had the opportunity to spend an hour or more with – a lovely young woman admitted for a cystic fibrosis tune-up and an inspiring middle aged father recently diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia, to name a few. I feel like I do not truly understand a disease until I meet the patients.
The days we got to spend rounding as a small team were days that I looked forward too. I had the opportunity to work with two of my brilliant classmates. We all had very unique skills and interests and brought out the best in each other, fondly referring to ourselves as ‘the triad’, not to be confused with Virchow’s Triad of thrombosis or the Unhappy Triad of severe knee injuries.
During these weeks, we had the opportunity to work with many renowned Mayo Clinic consultants. The faculty we worked with had unique specialties and bedside manner. Having such exposure allowed me to pick out what I liked from each of their techniques to develop my own. The consultants were all devoted to education and served as great mentors. Our ‘triad’ will still occasionally meet for coffee with the brilliant General Internal Medicine physician whom we had the opportunity to work with multiple times.
These are some of my greatest memories of becoming a doctor.
Leah is a third year Mayo medical student and native Minnesotan. She is interested in Neurology and Psychiatry, especially where these fields overlap. Her hobbies include spending time with her cat and cooking.