First year student Matt had a really great experience observing a trauma team earlier this year. Keep reading to learn more about what Matt got out of this placement.
What LP did you do?
I was with a trauma service!
How did you go about contacting and arranging the LP?
At a MacMed Trauma Interest Group event, I met a 5th year emergency med resident doing their fellowship in trauma. I asked if I could follow them around to learn about trauma, and they said why not! So I emailed them to get their availability and shadowed them after that.
What were the two main things you learned from this LP?
1. Trauma is awesome and really interesting (there’s a lot of neurology and musculoskeletal stuff involved in trauma)
2. The whole trauma team is really diverse and you can see the whole interdisciplinary team in action; the team consists of an emerg doc, a general surgeon, an orthopaedic surgeon, a neurologist, an anaesthesiologist, nurses, among others.
What did you wish you knew to help you in your LP?
Ideally, I would have finished learning about neurology and MSK before jumping into trauma. I had no background in anatomy so I didn’t have a strong understanding of all the broken bones or affected brain structures that patients presented with. Nevertheless, it definitely sparked my interest in learning about MSK and neurology in the future, as I found that when I finally started learning about the material, it was fascinating, since I saw it in real life already.
How has this experience helped you clinically, in class and/or in career decision making?
As I mentioned earlier, it definitely helped me connect the content I was learning in tutorial to real life situations I’ve encountered already with the trauma service. It made learning a lot more interesting and memorable.
In terms of career, I think it solidified my interest in emergency medicine, trauma and surgery. I’m definitely hoping to end up on one of these paths in the future!
Any other comments?
Trauma is cool for sure -- but in Hamilton, it’s unlikely to see any of the crazy stuff that you see on TV (gunshot wounds and such). More often, there’s blunt force trauma, falls off high places, MVCs (motor vehicle collisions), stabbings, and other miscellaneous things. Overall, it’s fascinating to see how cool, calm and collected the trauma team is at handling emergent situations.