Wednesday, January 17, 2007

First day at a new clinical site

I had a wonderful day today at one of my new clinical sites. I am currently doing some clinicals in an oncology office. It was very interesting and I learned a lot. I'm still not sure if I will go into primary medicine practice or if I will go into a specialty like oncology. It interests me because my Dad died of brain cancer and I have had a few friends diagnosed over the years.

I think the doctor was impressed when I asked the patients how they were feeling. I asked why and he said that so many doctors don't really ask that question in the right context.
He said in oncology it is very important to make sure that the patient is "feeling well enough" and that it can make or break whether a person continues treatment. This includes a person's mental health as well.

One patient that I saw had been recently diagnosed with colon cancer with mets everywhere. He didn't tolerate chemo and was in the hospital about to go to Hospice care. He decided to give it one more try and did better the second round.

I was privileged to see the expression on his face when he was told today that the PET scan was completely clean. No cancer. Pure joy..

It doesn't get much better than that!

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