Q&A: Rising Fourth Year Student

Rob Brumer - Valuable Educational Experience


I'm really looking forward to starting up clinical rotations as a fourth year! I've missed the experience of learning how to practice medicine on the wards. MS3 was unlike anything I'd experienced before; I've never worked so hard, but I've also never felt so fulfilled. I also feel better prepared than I was starting MS3 - with a year of clerkships behind me, I feel like I'm ready to take on more responsibility as an MS4. I'm particularly excited to return to the Trauma service!

One thing I'm particularly hopeful for is the use of telemedicine even after it becomes safe to drop social distancing guidelines. Travel time for a doctor's appointment can be a significant barrier to care - this is especially true for individuals who work multiple jobs and/or rely on public transport. Telemedicine allows for more flexible appointments with a busy work schedule and does not require patients (or, for that matter, physicians) to spend time commuting. I think that's a win-win!

In times like these, I turn to Dory from Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming"

My housemate and I have been taking his dog (a very friendly and energetic chocolate lab) for long walks. It's nice to get outside and stay active. My choir has had online rehearsals on Zoom, which has helped me stay sane. We also recorded parts for a "virtual choir" project last week, and I'm excited to see the result! I've been reading and listening to more books - I'm a big fan of sci-fi/fantasy I've also spent a fair bit of time playing video games online with friends and family - social distancing by default!

It's an uncomfortable reality that sometimes as medical students we gain the most educational value from the most tragic situations. In that context, while it is tragic that the population of Newark, NJ is so significantly impacted by the burdens of poverty and chronic medical disease, it has been an incredibly valuable educational experience to learn medicine from our patients. I expect that my experience at NJMS will have prepared me well for my career in medicine.