Hello everyone! Today was quite the day. I'm in Charlotte starting my last away med school rotation, "Urban Family Medicine." I didn't know how to interpret the name "Urban," but I knew I would be working with an underserved community. When I parked in the parking lot of the clinic, a crazy old man was trying to hit on me and two middle-aged women were fighting verbally outside the doors. I knew this was the right place! I went inside and the crazy old man was there in the waiting room, he left his chair to try to hop on the elevator with me. Thankfully, I held the open button on the elevator and told him to go back to his chair. I wasn't going to start the day being trapped in the elevator with him! My psychiatry rotations have done a great job teaching me boundaries with patients and how to be assertive.
When I got upstairs, I found myself in the most wonderful clinic ever. I was greeted by this young, poised, fabulous African-American female doctor. This couldn't be my preceptor! She was basically everything I envision myself being in 5 years. She introduced to another fabulous African-American female doctor and then 2 equally awesome AAFPharmDs! Talk about black girl power. They were all so happy and well put together. They told me the clinic is more diverse, but they were the only ones working today. After spending so much time with balding Caucasian males in clinic, this was a breath of fresh air.
I spent the morning seeing patients with the typical problems-unplanned pregnancy ("it just happened"), out of control blood pressure, wildly high sugars. I had so much fun! Not every medical student/doctor has it in them to dole out a thousand birth control/hypertension/diabetes/stop smoking lectures a day, but I do. And I can give each one enthusiastically and make my patients laugh while I lecture them. However, I can't always make them do what I say...
I'm really excited about this rotation and the population we get to work with. The majority of the patients are African-American, however many are Caucasian, Russian and Vietnamese as well. We're all focused on helping people help themselves and I love it.
This evening I went on a run in Freedom Park and it was so nice. It's located in Myers Park, an upscale neighborhood in Charlotte with beautiful houses. I know Aaron sees us living in a neighborhood like it, but I'm not so sure. I think I can be content with less...?
When I'm out, sometimes I feel like I have a double life. When I run, I'm just a young black girl in athletic clothes. When I'm in clinic, when I put on that white coat, patients-black, white, anyone-look at me with respect and listen to what I have to say. I have no children and I tell mothers about caring for their own children. And I'm just a medical student! In less than a year, I'll have the long white coat and then things will be really crazy. I see why people think doctors have big egos, it's hard transitioning from a clinic where you are the boss to just walking in the park. In a few years I'll be a psychiatrist and I'll carry all of the preconceived notions- that I know what you're thinking, that I can analyze you, that I'm super kind and understanding. I don't find those notions so bad. :-)
This post was written stream of consciousness style, I hope you enjoyed the view into my life. I'll leave you with a view of Freedom Park. :-)
...did I mention the glass in clinic is now bullet-proof after being shot up in a shoot-out? I don't even care. I'm working in the area that needs help the most.