"Patient is your best teacher. When you have time, go to the hospital and clerk patient"
A wise man said this to us, students, once. What he said was indeed true. I noticed that though I read about some diseases from those thick huge books, I find it easier to remember all the details through my observation from the patients.
I must say that I am pretty thankful that I am studying here in India as the patients mostly are cooperative although sometimes they get annoyed when you asked question while they are in pain. Some days, you might even be lucky to have patients that speak English. Here, at where I am now, the locals majority use Kannada language, Marathi language or Hindi. I am happy enough if my patients are able to speak Hindi.
Patients here are welcoming the students and they look up on medical students like how they look upon their doctors. They greet you "Namaskar Madam" while smiling brightly.
There was this one time I got a patient with venous ulcer secondary to varicose vein. He was so cooperative which i was thankful about and everyday when I came to check on him, he will always asked whether i have eaten or not. He told me about his problems that led to his newly diagnosed hypertension. I was touched on how he trust me to tell his problem which are personal to him.
Building rapport is not easy with language barrier and the struggle is real guys.
There are also times when I tried to clerk a pediatric patient.Her mother who is her informant couldn't understand a word we're saying so she gave up on us. Yes, I was disappointed but what can I do? I'll just have to go and find another patient.
You know they trust you are good when they asked for your help in the ward like when the IV fluid isn't running or when they need any medication. I am not trained and am not qualified to do that just (without supervision) yet so I call the sister/brother in charge to take a look at them and still I'm happy that they trusted me.
Another doctor told us that when you clerk a patient and you don't know what the disease that are having. A disease that you never learned or never heard of before. You can get all the info from the patient itself. Start by asking the symptoms they are having that brings them to the hospitals. Any investigation done? what are the treatments they are taking? any side effects?
Through all these questions, you'll get to learn the whole thing about the disease. Been there, tried that and acquired the info.
I am definitely not a book worm (I tried to be one) so I try going to hospital everyday if I am able to because patient is your best teacher right?
Lecturers are the best teachers too, don't forget that. So, don't skip class!