Sometimes I wish I were Hermione Granger in my third year of Hogwarts so I could use a time turner! Then I remember I can stream lectures at 2X and gleefully embrace the magic of technology. I may not be trying to save Buckbeak this week, but it sure has been a busy one of amazement, clarity, and immersion in cardiology.
I am thankful to specialty interest groups for spurring moments of amazement this week. On Monday, for the first time I had the opportunity to use a fetal doppler to listen to fetal heart sounds. It was absolutely incredible to move the machine over the patient’s uterus and get it just right so I could clearly hear the “lub dub” of the baby’s heart beat: 147 beats per minute! So fast! I don’t think I will forget that moment. In this experience, through the Family Medicine Interest Group’s prenatal shadowing program, I’m paired with one pregnant patient for the duration of her prenatal appointments and delivery. I am so grateful to the patient for allowing me this window into her life!
Last night, pre-clinical students had a chance to conduct physical exams on pediatric patients through the Pediatrics Student Interest Group (PSIG). Our patients were the bubbly, adorable, and healthy kids of several pediatricians. I LOVED being with the kids and trying to assess factors like heart sounds, lung sounds, muscle tone, and reflexes while they were squirming and running around. Kids pose a very different set of challenges compared to adults, and it’s fun to get on my patient’s level.
Over the past week, I have also been exploring integrative medicine, which is its own specialty and can also be applied to any medical practice. Over a Juicy Kitchen dinner, we talked about how meditation, yoga, and nutrition can help physicians in their quest for the mindful treatment of illness and for the wellness of providers as well.
Through the same group, I also took a Thai massage class on Sunday. The centeredness and mental clarity I experienced afterwards was wonderful. I now also have many willing practice subjects for these new-found skills.
In the classroom, M1s have been focused on cardiology. I’m starting to learn which subjects hold my attention best, such as embryology and pathophysiology. I’m also realizing which parts I need to work harder to engage myself to learn. I love when we form connections between different types of material, and I’m finding those links much more in this sequence than the previous one.
Although I’m an extrovert by nature, I find it incredibly peaceful to sit with my markers and whiteboard and doodle out the material we are learning. (It’s a good thing too, because I spent the entire day Saturday doing just that.) Spending a whole day immersed in cardiology was one of the best days of the week!
With the first wave of admissions decisions going out tomorrow, I’m excited to welcome our new colleagues to Michigan! Welcome to the family – we are so happy to have you!
Nonie Arora is a 4th year MD/MBA candidate at the University of Michigan. She is passionate about improving the delivery of healthcare and health policy. She can be followed on Twitter @nonie_arora.