I found my Emergency Medicine rotation at the Metropolitan Hospital to be much more enjoyable than I had anticipated. I worked shortly in the ED as a medical scribe after my undergrad with very limited medical knowledge. Now as a PA student with far more medical knowledge than I had years ago, being in the ED felt like a completely different experience. I feel that I now have a stronger grasp of interviewing and critical thinking than I did as a scribe or at the start of the rotation. I also have a better understanding of the medical complaints patients present with and the concepts and pathophysiology behind their condition. During this rotation, I was allowed to assume more independence as a student, and I was challenged by the clinicians I worked with to strive to know and learn more. During this rotation, I was able to observe a variety of interesting cases and assist in difficult procedures.
I also particularly enjoyed the student conferences that were held weekly at the Metropolitan hospital or at the Harlem hospital. The conferences served as opportunities for students and residents to learn, review material, and practice teamwork. It also provided the opportunity to assess previous patient scenarios and work together to determine the ways a patient’s care could have been improved or problems could have been avoided.
The staff at the hospital were also very welcoming and willing to teach which made the experience even better. I worked with many residents and PAs and had the chance to work in both the fast track and the main ED. When interviewing and managing patients I was able to interview patients independently, perform the physical exams, present the patients and present my assessment and plan for each patient. Afterward, each provider would provide feedback on my presentation as well as constructive criticism if any. I truly enjoyed the chance to work and think independently about each patient. It helps improve my confidence in my ability to think critically.
There were also opportunities to perform procedures such as I&D’s, placing IVs, suture removals, splints, wound care, etc. Overall, this was a great rotation and experience that has drawn my interest more towards emergency medicine.