The Student's Role
Student team members
are responsible for most aspects of patient care including the physical exam
and eliciting the medical history, following up on labs, scheduling for consults
or followup appointments, etc. These responsibilities are divided among the
team members according to their level of medical education. For example, first
year students take vital signs, assist in charting patient information, gather
the patient’s history, and perform parts of the physical exam. The second
year student has greater responsibilities. He/she does most of the physical
exam, draws blood, gives injections, learns to take and read EKG's, and handles
interpretation of lab results. Second year students are also responsible for
presenting the case to the clinic attending. The third and fourth year students
act as the team physician with the third year student having a primary role
and the fourth year providing peer review and supervision.
You will have understood by now how to work as part of a medical team -- something
that students in other schools don't normally get to do until the third year.
You will also probably have seen some patients and can continue to follow them
for the next few years in order to gain a better appreciation of the scope of
Family Medicine. Participation will quickly enhance your interviewing techniques
and physical examination skills so that by the time third year rolls around
you will be well prepared to handle the new responsibilities of the clinical
rotations. As the years pass by you will assume greater responsibility in your
team at Clinic until eventually you are the team leader.