For those who don't know, originally, SGU had our last term of school on the island of St. Vincent, where we began to get clinical exposure. Due to crime problems on the island that seemed to be specifically targeting students, SGU pulled this program and moved this portion back to Grenada so now all our basic sciences are completed in the same place. This shut down occurred about a year ago.
Given my general problems with administration (my loan check for this term will probably come about midway through my residency, I'm thinking), I'm often faint with praise, but though I'm only on my second week of hospital visits, I'm pretty impressed with how quickly they've arranged to channel 300-400 students per week into a fairly small hospital, and have found pretty willing and able facilitators for us.
Last week, we were essentially playing tourist in the maxillofacial OR, while our doctor had us interview the first patient and then discussed cases in between the (lightning fast) operations.
This week, we were in pathology, which I wouldn't have expected to facilitate a lot of patient contact, but we were quickly whisked up to the ward to interview one patient with supervision, along with watching a procedure, and then left to our own devices to interview, examine, and present another patient. Eek! After we discussed the cases, and presented and defended our differential diagnoses (wrong!), we looked over some x-rays and discussed those as well. Why can't all of medical school be like this? I wish I could say more on what I got to see and do today, but I'm not sure what constitutes violating the Grenadian equivalent to HIPAA, so I'm taking the rare approach of erring on the side of caution.
I can say the patients have been really amazing about letting a gaggle of baby not-docs ask them repeated, frequently pointless, and personal questions before timidly and inexpertly prodding them, so I'm very appreciative of the chance they're giving me to learn while in the midst of their own issues. It's also great that the doctors to take time to train us, particularly with Grenada being so small, that it's pretty common for the specialists to be the only one on the island in their field, so the fact that they're working us into their schedule and actually using that time to ask us questions and discuss cases is pretty awesome.
That's been our scheduled positivity break. Stay tuned for more bitching about money, paperwork, and scheduling.