After a couple flight delays Monday night followed by an early morning train ride (during which I proceeded to fall asleep on the shoulder of the poor, unsuspecting businessman seated next to me, furiously typing away on his laptop…llllllllllllll), I rolled into school just in time for small group on Tuesday morning. Needless to say, I was not the most eloquent when called upon to answer questions on Barrett’s esophagus (an abnormal change in some of the cells of the lower esophagus to resemble those of the intestines).
During situations like these, I typically don’t get all that much out of small group. But Tuesday was different…on Tuesday, we had Franz as our preceptor. He was outstanding. He kept the small group both lively and efficient, asking specific, well-phrased questions, and bouncing around the class, not allowing students to be mere bystanders to discussion. He related the cases to what he sees in clinic and made all the murky details make sense and feel relevant to our pursuit of medical understanding. And, for students like me who couldn’t answer all the questions he directly asked (after the long weekend, there were many students like me), he did nothing to make us feel ashamed or embarrassed…in fact, I got the feeling that he appreciated the transient confusion, using it as a springboard to include some applicable anecdotes that would somehow make everything make sense. I will always remember the signs and symptoms of cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder) and that, if need be, I can fake my way out of a prison camp by complaining of severe (referred) pain radiating over my right scapula.
But now it’s so so tough to settle for anything less in a preceptor. Franz, you may have ruined me.