Humanism Workshop #3 Reflection
Medical Students are really privileged to have the luxury of spending more time with patients than residents or attendings but also being able to participate in the surgical team’s activities. I think this gives us a unique perspective into both the experiences of patients and the lifestyle of surgeons. We’re able to appreciate how busy surgeons work and the burnout associated with working 1-4 call shifts (sometimes even more). However, we can also better understand how a patient feels when they’ve been waiting all day to see their surgeon and the surgeon only spends like 5 minutes with them during rounds (sometimes even less).
During my rotation, I’ve noticed several times when patients would become so happy to see the residents in the morning, but the residents would only be able to spend a few minutes with them. Seeing both perspectives I could appreciate everyone’s priorities. As a medical student, since I had a lot more time than the residents, I would sometimes go back to see some patients after rounding to chat with them and try to answer questions that I could – or write the questions down to ask the residents later and convey the information back to the patient. I think this was my small way of trying to ease patient anxiety. I think this has really shown me the value that patients place in their healthcare providers and how much anxiety we can relieve by just taking another 5 minutes to speak with patients that have a lot of questions. Going forward in my career, I will try to manage my time and schedule in such a way that I can spend the necessary time with patients that they require it !