Monday, September 9, 2013

The Med Students Came

       As some of you know I got involved with a program through Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Basically that is a fancy word for med students. In this program they send first year medical students to the homes of special needs families. The point is to get them a real world feel for what it is really like beyond the textbooks.
       I got involved when my friend MA. Posted about the program on Facebook. They were asking for military families but I asked hey do you think they would accept a civilian family. MA was like yes you have to do this. Your family would be great.

       She then gave me R's contact info and I sent her a email. I briefly told her in the email that while we are civilian my husband is prior marine and I grew up Navy so we know how the military works. I also briefly outlined the needs in our house. Everything from ASD to a hemophilia. She replied back that we would be greatly needed. (ok I'm starting to get a complex about my family. lol).  R had me call her. I kid you not I spent over a hour on the phone with her. Mostly just BS talk. There was some explanation of the program but hey you know how it goes you get two special needs moms on the phone well we are going to talk. She really is one of the coolest people I have talked to. She might even be MA's long lost twin.

       We got everything settled and figured out we were a good match. I mean really even the dogs in the house are special needs. Before I got off the phone I had two visits set up.

      The first visit was on a Saturday. Two med students came one was Army one was Air Force. First off it was a pretty calm day. The kids just watched TV. They stayed for about an hour and asked questions. Pretty much wanting to know about what makes a good doctor. What am I looking for in a doctor. I told them you have to slow down and listen. That it is not always about you the doctor. Sometimes those conversations out of left field can give you clues about what happened. Someone may not think their fishing trip affected them a week later.

       We also talked about how if a patient had a comfort item no matter how silly it is to them. Unless it affects their care don't remove it. I remember when Roger had his tonsils out he brought his blanket. It was just a little crib blanket and he didn't want to give it up. The doctor said ok fine shove it under him. I can cover it it won't be in my way. Had he taken it it would have been a huge meltdown and just to much on everyone.

      Overall they asked great questions and I think they will do well. The only thing I would point out was they did not address the kids. That gets annoying to have someone talk to about while you are right there but never ask any questions.

       The second visit was the following Wed. Again two students one Army I don't know bout the other. Pretty much the same drill they stayed about 45 min and asked a lot of questions. These poor guys had to walk up to a house with kids and bikes everywhere. The neighbor kids were over this time.

       The second two were interested in the Dx. What they were, what age they were, how we found out? They also asked the kids questions. Which was nice. Since they were there they could get their input as well.
        When they asked about what makes a good doctor I told them pretty much the same thing but also added interacting with the kids. Before Lucy was verbal our family doctor talked to her all the time. She may not have answered him but he knew she understood him. That even if you have a non-verbal or semi-verbal patient they can still understand you. Talk to them.

         Overall it was a great experience and I do think all of them will do well. The idea of having med students to go into real life himes is great. They can see another side of medicine. The actual patients. If I was asked to do this again I would. I wish the four medical students I met the best of luck.

1 comment:

  1. Great experience and you captured it perfectly! I told my two students that they must treat the patients with dignity and always address them and speak to them. I also told them that having a special needs child will have a tremendous impact on the rest of the family; a sibling may act out, demonstrate risky behavior, etc as a means of getting attention, and that the stress on the parents can lead to marriage difficulties and a host of stress-related illnesses. So proud to be part of this program!