Reflective Account Of A Reflective Practitioner

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“Death starts from the feet.” She was an 86 year old Guinean woman who was accompanied by her son to the family medicine clinic. Her son explained to us that his mother was very anxious and feared that she would be dying soon because of the pains that she was having in her lower extremities. In their culture, there is a saying that “death starts from the feet,” and because she was experiencing these pains she was convinced that her time was near. After obtaining a more detailed history and completing her physical examination, I discovered that the patient had bilateral crepitus in her knees as well as joint swellings, indicating an osteoarthritic presentation. What my patient feared to be symptoms of death were instead osteoarthritic pain! This patient encounter was an eye opening experience on just how impactful our backgrounds can be in medicine. By improving our cultural competences we improve the quality of healthcare. As a family physician I hope to make a difference in the lives and communities of patients from various backgrounds.
Family medicine is a perfect fit for me
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There I learned how to work independently as well as on a team. As 4th year medical student, I actively taught patients with HIV and Hepatitis C about their diagnoses, common treatments and offered to connect the patients to community resources. Physically witnessing the increase of compliance rates simply from our presentations emphasized to me the importance of patient education. Additionally, during my break between completion of medical school and residency, I will be headed to Botswana to assist with the implantation of telemedicine projects. This experience will allow me to widen my perspective about healthcare based on cultural
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