Making Room for Change
Leaving one rotation and moving to the next always has a sense of tension about it. Meeting the new attending, observing clinical procedures and working with a new patient population inherently brings an unsettled feeling of the unknown. Yet as medical students, we move forward and give it our best shot. I have no idea what to expect on my psychology rotation. Maybe that's why my anxiety levels are elevated. It certainly seems fitting that this rotation elicits such an emotional reaction.
The best part about experiencing various specialties is the opportunity to really understand those patients and the doctors that provide for them. We see first hand how physical or mental illness affect the individual and learn a proper response to that condition. The attendings we work with have a significant impact on our perception of their field. Despite continued encouragement that their specialty is the best, we still have to gain enough exposure to gain an appreciation for a particular line of work. Although I am not quite sold on psychology, I will approach it with an open mind and see where I end up four weeks from now.
Question of the Week
A 6-year-old child is brought by ambulance to the emergency room following an automobile accident. She is covered with blood and unconscious secondary to hemorrhagic shock. Her parents urge the physician to do everything possible, but implore that no blood products be used to treat their daughter. What is the best course of action for the physician to take?
A. Administer blood without delay and contact child protective services
B. Convene an urgent meeting of the hospital ethics board
C. Engage the parents in a discussion of why they hold these beliefs
D. Transfuse blood as needed, explaining the situation to the parents
E. Treat the patient without using blood products, per the request of her parents
Answer & Explanation