Healthy Living: Medical students
When it comes to the letters ‘M.D.,’ it signifies a ton of dedication, years of training and plenty of passion. Marcie Fraser takes a closer look at the work of a medical student.
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He looks and talks like a doctor, but he's not - not yet, anyway.
"During my undergrad, my plan was to be a cardiac thoracic surgeon and it's been changing more toward family medicine, primary care,” said Chris Smith, a medical student.
He's in his third year of medical school, putting his text book education into practice by shadowing a licensed family doctor.
With the debt from medical school bills, many young doctors opt for higher paying specialties like surgeons and that has left the country with a nationwide shortage of primary care doctors. Dr. Slingerland offers his services as a mentor to hopefully inspire more medical student to go into primary care where the patients vary from young to old with all kinds of problems.
"We are teaching not only family medicine and internal medicine but also basic physical exams, skills and diagnostic skills. It's a really hands on, one on one training," said Dr. Tucker Slingerland, a primary care physician.
"It's amazing, nothing beats getting out of the classroom and seeing patients talking to real people. In college they do a lot of simulated patient encounters but nothing beats the actual field experience," said Smith.
He has to complete rotations in surgical, pediatric and psychiatry, and then it’s off to a residency program.
"At this point, the students have spent four to six years doing mostly book work and this is an opportunity for them to meet a real patient with real health issues," said Dr. Slingerland.
If you are hesitant to allow a med student in your exams room, just think, you may be allowing them to become better doctors.
"For me, nothing has surpassed being out in the clinic and seeing people on an outpatient basis," said Smith.