Seven months of fellowship are in the books. Just like that. It’s pretty incredible how fast time flies. Cliche, but so true.
I am incredibly fortunate to train at a facility that sees an immense volume and mix of gastrointestinal and liver pathology. I have treated a myriad of diseases in just the first seven months, from Pernicious Anemia to acute gastroesophageal variceal bleeding (with endoscopic band ligation) to peptic ulcer disease to acute on chronic liver disease. This entire post could very well be a list of pathology I have seen and managed. The point is, our GI team is seeing the bread-and-butter type cases as well as life-threatening acute pathology. This is exactly what I want in a training program!!
Rotations thus far
In the first seven months of fellowship, I’ve completed a mix of consult (50%) and elective (50%) “block” rotations. Each block consists of four weeks on that service. Electives include GI pathology with our specialist in-house pathologists, research, and ambulatory. I’ll be honest, consult months can be extremely tiring and (at times) stressful, but I also have learned the most, by a large margin, during consult months. Consults is where I see incredibly ill patients, learn how to scope these patients, and medically manage under the Gastroenterologist role. I constantly remind myself how lucky I am to be in a position to help people who need a GI doctor to guide them back to health.
Room for improvement
Comparing and contrasting with peers is a natural phenomenon shared by many in healthcare. I know there is significant room for improvement in my practice of medicine. As a first year GI Fellow, I sense a need to improve the following:
- Efficiency – elicit only pertinent information from my interview with the patient and pull data from the chart accordingly. I must do this in a way to allows me to see patients sooner and be available for inpatient scopes.
- Presentations – continue to refine my patient presentations, including pertinent info for GI purposes.
- Knowledge – this is a lifelong process; learning and retaining more. Learning how to apply this knowledge to patient care in order to provide cutting-edge, safe medicine.
- Endoscopy – understand that there is a learning curve, and trust the process in that I will one day be a competent endoscopist.
- Teaching – I feel this last major category helps me solidify all of the aforementioned areas of my medical practice. When I feel I have a decent grasp on a topic, it is gratifying to teach medical students and residents. Knowing that something I say may impact their practice of medicine is powerful. It could help a future patient!
My plan is to do all of this in the context of a healthy lifestyle. Writing on this blog is one of those hobbies I want to cultivate! Traveling with my wife is very important; we have a couple of important trips planned for 2019!