Archive | 11:50 pm

Standardized Patient

29 Sep

I chatted with a good friend briefly last night and mentioned that we had had our first session with a standardized patient that day.  “What’s a standardized patient?”  Oh…right, I forgot that not everyone dates someone throughout his four years of medical school.  Anyway, I hope you all know how important accessibility is in this blog experiment, so please let me know if you would ever like me to clarify anything–I want to be able to share my med school experience with you!

A standardized (or simulated) patient is an actor trained to behave like a real patient, imitating symptoms and presenting an often detailed history.  At this point in the game, we’re at the basics, simply trying to have open discussions with the patients, getting them to open up to us about their chief complaint, medical and personal histories.

“Hello, my name is Anna and I’m a first-year medical student.  Would you mind if I speak with you for a few minutes before you see the doctor?  What brings you in today?”

Open-ended questions is the name of the game.

And all this exercise is done in front of our respective learning teams and preceptors, who can call time-out to give feedback.  After about 7-10 minutes, the scenario ends, and everyone (especially the patient) gives you feedback.

It sounds so basic, but it’s challenging (at least for me)…and totally invigorating!  I cannot wait to get in the hospital, to begin clerkships!  I think I did okay.  And, apparently, when I’m nervous, no one can tell that my hands are frigid or that my stomach is doing flips…which I take as a good thing.


snacks and a concert

29 Sep

If you’re a student either living in or visiting Philly, forget the tired dinner-and-a-movie date night.  Instead, check out one of the many FREE CONCERTS at the Kimmel Center, which is where I went tonight with a bunch of classmates to see the Philadelphia Orchestra and Joshua Bell.  There was even a reception held afterward in the lobby catered by Wolfgang Puck.  And Verizon Hall is shaped like the inside of a cello.

Don’t think you can make it until 10pm to enjoy free dinner?  With happy hour until 7pm and just two blocks away, Tria is a great option, especially in the middle of the week when the crowds are minimal and the service is super fast.  Order a $5 Happy Hour special of their house wine, the Mission Figs stuffed with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto di Parma, and the fennel spiced almonds.  Trust me.

John’s at a conference in Las Vegas (and otherwise living in Boston), so my dates were Jon and Jamie (another pair of old married farts like us), Doria, and Christina.  Somewhere in the middle of J. Bell’s delicious rendition of Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto it occurred to me: I have friends here…actual friends.  I think Philadelphia is becoming my home.