Where real life and future practitioner life meet

So, I got to hang out in the weird interface of being a future practitioner and being a patient recently. I have been getting some tests done because of a weird skin thing I have. Whenever I think I have it figured out, I don’t. If it is all one condition, it has been going on since I was 16, so, it is obviously not an acutely dangerous condition. I have gone though, in my head, diagnoses from being dirty -> fungal infection -> systemic candida -> inverse psoriasis -> something…else? Like maybe erythema annulare centrifugum? Erythema gyratum repens? Granulomatous dermatitis? Mycosis fungoides?

Med studentitis?

Ack. Well, I just got a biopsy done, which was inconclusive, and I also had to go and get my (*ahem*) supposed-to-be-annual gynecological exam, and get various vaccines and tests to prepare for rotations. On my way in the get the check under the hood, I passed a group of what I assume were either physical therapy or occupation therapy students traversing the perimeter of the school, including the parking lot near the handicapped spaces. Many of them were using assisted mobility devices (not sure if that is the correct term) such as different types of crutches, wheelchairs and walkers. I do not think any of these students needed these devices to ambulate themselves, but were using them to see what it was like for their future patients. And, at the same time, testing out the accessibility of our building, which not only houses a huge health professions graduate school, but employs a large number of support faculty and staff. We also share the site with our clinic, which has various medical specialties, a dental clinic, an optometry clinic, and physical and occupational therapy offices.

I was running late, but I had to stop and ask their professor how they were finding the accessibility. She seemed like a great professor (from my 2 minute interaction while we were both negotiating a parking garage with lots of traffic and no sidewalk) and said it seemed to be poor in many areas, including the one we were in. The front parking and front of the building were better, but the majority of the students and patients will be in the garage.

I was so happy to see this particular group doing an excursion like this. I have seen members of these programs on our elevators and on different floors of the building with assistive devices. Sometimes they have real live people with them who have mobility barriers, but not on this particular trip. I heard students complaining about how difficult it was to use a walker for a long distance, and was happy to see them getting real empathetic experience, even if they were not getting direct input from someone who has to deal with this every day. They will get a lot of that in their careers, and I hope this helps them think about mobility and accessibility more holistically.

I also hope the professor and/ or students submit an accessibility report to the powers that be at the university. All facilities should strive to be accessible, but I have an ever higher standard for a location that serves and trains people to serve people who have different accessibility and mobility needs.


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6 responses to “Where real life and future practitioner life meet

  1. One of the few things I don’t look at is derm.

    I had what I thought was ringworm in med school – treated unsuccessfully with antifungals until I got a secondary staph infection and honey-colored pus was oozing out of my tights at Cadaver Ball.

    Was finally, successfully diagnosed with nummular excema, which went away after med school. Small resurgence with first pregnancy. So maybe med studentitis.

    • MomTFH

      Oooh, was it a costumed cadaver ball? The pus might have fit in!

      I am now adding nummular eczema to my differential. My skin problems did get worse with each of my pregnancies, and seems to get worse when I am stressed out.

  2. Phledge

    It’s cool to get little slices of progressive here and there in the world. I was doing my online orientation for my PGY-1 institution and within the module on physical restraint they actually address the expectation to investigate whether the patient has previous sexual or physical abuse that would predispose them to psychological damage as a result of restraint. Run-on sentence FTW, but the point made me happy.

    Good luck with that skin thingy. I, also, do not “do” derm. My derm motto: If it’s wet, make it dry; if it’s dry, make it wet; if neither of those work put a steroid on it.

    • MomTFH

      If there were no run on sentences, my writing would be really sparse.

      Good for your institution for even mentioning it.

      Derm – yeah, I can’t do derm. I can’t even figure out my own skin.

      • Phledge

        Yeah, they also have a required “sensitivity for bariatric patients” module. Haven’t gotten to it yet, but the fact that it’s there is somewhat hopeful. (Well, and Michigan’s the only state in the nation that includes size in their EEO laws.) I’ll reserve my praise until after I read it.

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