A Different Angle

I'm only a week into my Immigrant Health/Public Health elective and I already love it! This unique rotation has been unlike any other I've had in medical school thus far. While I've been able to spend some time in clinics with various patients afflicted with conditions like HIV and Hepatitis, I've also gotten the chance to spend some time at the Forsyth County Department of Public Health, where I toured the facility and their in-house laboratory,  and learned about many of the resources that the county has to offer to its residents. I especially learned a lot more about the ubiquitous WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, which I appreciated because although I knew what it was, I didn't have as firm of a grasp on the details of the program as I should have as a future Pediatrician. 😅

I spent another day tagging along with Community Paramedicine Emergency Medical Services, where I got the opportunity to learn about the special role that these medical professionals have in the community. These medical professionals were seasoned paramedics, but their role as a community paramedicine EMS responder was quite different from what you and I would expect when we hear the acronym “EMS”. Instead of riding around in ambulances all day responding to 911 calls, these people moreso respond to acute calls concerning behavorial health, only responding to acute medical emergencies if it is absolutely necessary (i.e. an unforseen shortage in emergency responders in the community).

As they described it, the main reason as to why the county created their position a few years ago was to identify the people in the community who call 911 the most and find ways to reduce the call volume from them by connecting them to useful community resources that they may have otherwise never heard about. By doing this, the theory was that there would be a potential decrease in the number of unnecessary Emergency Room visits, thus saving time and money for everyone who was involved in the coordination of care. Over time, this group of paramedicine EMS responders have shown that their work does decrease the number of unnecessary visits to the ER and because they have been able to save the system money, they are increasing their team size in order to have a bigger impact in the community. It was cool learning about their unique role in the community and although there was a paucity of calls the day I was there (I only went on two trips), I am grateful that I got to appreciate the important work that they do. 🙏🏿

According to my schedule for this upcoming week, I'm going to have even more experiences in the community than I did last week! In addition to rotating through infectious disease and refugee clinics, it looks like I'm going to be participating in community talks, board meetings, and an ID card drive with FaithAction for immigrants. I feel like it is about to be a very interesting week, with plenty of dope experiences to learn from.

I don't really have much else to talk about today. I'm scheduled to help out with medical school interviews tomorrow morning, which should be pretty straightforward since I've already done this two other times this year. I'm also still working on my rank list, which I'm sure will continue to be a work in progress for the next week or two. Not gonna lie, life as a second-semester fourth-year medical student is pretty smooth. 😎

I hope that you have a terrific week!


“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington

– Black Man, M.D.

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