Medical Students: What Do They Want To Know?
Posted by Dr. Vollmer on July 10, 2013
Below is my post from 2010 about my presentation to UCLA Medical Students in the Primary Care College. Today, I repeated my lecture on ‘Psychiatric Emergencies’ , with the addition of a narrative about the wonders, and not such wonders, in DSM 5. I changed my presentation style, but not my content. I moved my body in front of the podium. I walked up and down the aisles, making me feel like a rock star, moving into my audience. I made eye contact with each student. Only one person fell asleep. This, being 2013, most of these students were female, young, and enthusiastic. I arrived an hour early, so I could hear the lecture before mine. I learned that the Affordable Care Act is going to focus on patient satisfaction, public health and cost-efficiency. As such, pediatricians will, in all likelihood, not do ‘well-child checks’ as this can be done by nurses. Pediatricians, like in many countries around the world, will be specialists, referred to after the Family Medicine doctor gets stuck. Most doctors will not be self-employed. They will work for large systems of care, like Kaiser. Specialists will have trouble finding jobs in areas they want, as they will need to be “deployed” to where the need is. Primary care will be in demand. Loan repayment was the largest area of discussion. Most students are saddled with large debt. The rate they pay it off, and the type of job they get are influenced by their tolerance to handle such demands. Once again, I found myself in a field that is rapidly changing, feeling like, although I sat in those same chairs, thirty years ago, I cannot connect with the experience of the current students. They are entering in a world which is evolving so quickly, that they do not know what their world will look like when they finish their training, five or seven or nine years from now.
There was then a ten minute break which, quite cleverly, I thought, the physician-coordinator, told us that it was time to do our exercises. All fifty of us got up to do a series of dance steps, swinging our arms and legs, while this physician reminded us that physical exercise will help us concentrate. She transformed from Professor to exercise guru. It was cool.
I began by asking how many students were interested in psychiatry. Three hands went up, but the coördinator reminded me, that primary care has a lot of psychiatry. Yep, I knew that. These are new fourth-year medical students, about to apply for the “match,” meaning they had to rank order their list of residency programs that they were interested in. This is a major crossroads in their lives, and although I don’t know these students intimately, most of them, seemed quite relaxed about their education and their future. I proceeded to talk about the management of a psychiatric emergency, reminding them that there are no objective tests, and so, all of psychiatry relies on informed intuition, based on a thorough history and good mental status examination. I talked about the importance of learning to listen to the patient’s narrative, as listening provides information for a diagnosis, but it is also therapeutic. I reminded them that psychoanalysis helps train people to listen, and so they could consider psychoanalytic training, regardless of what field of medicine they chose. One student after the class, told me they were indeed interested in psychoanalysis. I felt relieved. Listening is not dead in medicine, at least not completely dead.
From a Post Done on Wednesday, July 14, 2010
What is the Primary Care College?
UCLA School of Medicine: Fourth-year Colleges
Faculty members and students interested in common career activities are grouped into academic colleges during year four. The colleges are designed to
- strengthen career advising,
- improve the quality and selection of electives,
- provide a means of honing clinical skills,
- stimulate discussion of new findings in the basic, social, and clinical sciences relevant to the future practice of medicine.
College activities include an introductory course focused on advanced clinical skills and decision making, a monthly series of evening seminars, a longitudinal academic activity that can be either teaching or scholarship, and regular advisory meetings.
Academic Medicine — Careers that will include research or subspecialty training programs that require research. The theme is the development of skills in basic and clinical research.
Acute Care — Careers in emergency medicine, anesthesia, and critical care specialties. Themes include time-based decision making, physiologic correlations, and crisis management.
Applied Anatomy — Careers in the various surgical specialties, obstetrics & gynecology, radiology, radiation oncology, ophthalmology, and pathology. The unifying theme is anatomical implications in medical practice.
Primary Care — Careers in internal medicine, pediatrics, family medicine, obstetrics & gynecology, and psychiatry. Themes include prevention, mental health, international health, geriatrics, and women’s health.
Drew Urban Underserved — Members of this college are students in the combined UCLA/Drew University program, which is recognized for its placement of graduates in underserved communities.