Paige Lockshaw-McClintock (first year PA student, Class of 2019) goes through her experience working in a family medicine clinic during her longitudinal placement.
What LP did you do?
The first LP I chose to do spanned over two full days at Profetto Savatteri Family Medicine in Stoney Creek with a practicing Physician Assistant.
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
Deanna, the Physician Assistant I shadowed, is my tutorial preceptor for Medical Foundations 1. I figured a family medicine practice would be a nice way to ease into placement because you get to see a variety of patients, all seeking treatment for something different so I sent Deanna an email with a list of dates I was available and we ended up scheduling a full day for me to come the next week.
What were two main things you learned from the LP?
After getting comfortable watching and understanding how to take a snapshot of what brought the patient into the practice that day, I was able to do patient histories and exams on my own before consulting with Deanna about possible causes and treatments. Through this, I learned that patients love to talk, especially to students who are eager to learn so by going in confident in your abilities and just listening to your patient, they will tell you (mostly) everything you need to know, making your job fun and seemingly easygoing! This also helped me with my history and exam skills.
We did quite a few well-baby visits so it was really interesting to do exam on the baby and take a history from the parent. We practice both of these on classmates or other adults for the most part so it was cool to learn how to do an exam on a much smaller person and observe the differences between adults and babies/children.
What do you wish you had known before hand to help in your LP?
I wish I had a better understanding of child development, including the milestones they should be meeting. Although everything you needed to know was in a check list or charts on the computer in front of you, I think it would have been more of a conversation rather than scripted with the parents if I had background knowledge and I would have been able to answer more of their questions.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision-making?
I absolutely loved the diversity of patients and patient problems that came through the door each day and the connection you made in getting to know each patient. I think this experience helped me to think more clinically in tutorials by drawing from different patient encounters as well as learning as well as taught be tips and tricks for different patient encounters.