I am well aware that my clinical years are drawing closer day by day, but I really wish that my school’s second-year curriculum had more in the way of structured clinical experience. One of my best friends from college is now studying at Stanford School of Medicine. Despite both of us having busy schedules and no longer having the luxury of sharing the same campus, we make a concerted effort to catch up as much as we can, whether that be in the form of texting quotes from “Workaholics” or “The Office” or commenting on the Golden State Warrior’s historic NBA season. Oh, and occasionally we discuss medicine.
In talking with my friend, I learned that Stanford med students have the opportunity to meet patients after their physicians finish appointments. For example, he was the last medical personnel to see a patient who had endometritis. Once the actual attending doctor had finished the appointment, he would come meet the patient and learn if his diagnosis and hypothetical treatment plan matched that of the doctor. I likened him to being the “second opinion” on the case. I think that this practice, along with other unique opportunities, really prepares Stanford med students for future cases and allows them to find out (after the fact and thus with less pressure) what mistakes they may have made. It also is excellent for instilling confidence in client communication skills. Is a similar program in place for first- or second-year vet students to practice at other vet schools? If so, I would love to learn more about them!