It’s a wrap! (almost)

Hello All!

Hope you are all doing well! It’s been a while since I’ve posted and have since completed Surgery, ER and OMM! I’m on my final rotation–psychiatry at the State Penitentiary–and it’s going to be interesting, only four more weeks to go!!

Just to recap, surgery was a great rotation, I learned a ton and had a great preceptor. It was AMAZING to help resect a patient’s bowel and anastomose it, make incisions and suture them back up! The challenges were that surgery is sooo physically exhausting; my feet were killing me at the end of every day and the days were really long. I also realized how complex and incredible the human body is and how brilliant surgeons are to know what to cut or bovie. It’s hard work!

OMM was four weeks and was mostly like a family med rotation except that we spent Tuesdays and Thursdays with a fantastic preceptor who spent 4 hours reviewing material and going over techniques. It was like being in OPP lab again but everything came easier since we had learned it at least once before. I really like working with this preceptor twice a week, she was also an attending at a family medicine residency program for years and was able to give us a lot of insight and advice on applications and programs!

ER was four weeks as well and was great. We work 3 shifts/week or whenever our main preceptor is on shift. We do 12 pm- 12 am shifts which allow us to see the most. I got to fix a nursemaids elbow (the family was super happy), stitch up a prisoner’s face who got pummeled at the penitentiary, do OMT on a MVA patient, and learn a ton! It was awesome.

Now that my last rotation is here, I’m really grateful for the time I’ve had in Walla Walla. Our dean is so encouraging and our coordinator is fantastic–so organized! The doctors have been incredible teachers and I can’t express how much I appreciate all our patients and their patience!

So now it’s onto board exams, moving, weddings (Congrats, Jenny!), audition rotations and electives. I have a feeling that in the craziness of it all, I won’t get the chance to blog, so here’s to EDC. Could not have pushed through without the love and support of family and friends!  Wishing everyone an amazing end to an amazing year and luck with the next leg of our journey!




Collagen Changes of Aging, A Classic Tale

Today marks the completion of my 4-week long OMT (Osteopathic Manipulative Therapy) rotation. One of the most laid-back rotations, my hours were similar to bank hours. I arrived at 9:30am and departed anywhere from 5 to 6pm. The patient load was relatively light and we would see 5-8 patients/day with each encounter lasting a minimum of 30 minutes to max 1+ hours. The doctor I worked can best be described as a 65 yo version of Ryah (y’all know him – 6’3″, talks with hands, and may or may not be a conspiracy theorist). Regardless, he was enjoyable to work with.

To get a sense of what OMT looks like in the private, outpatient clinic setting, imagine that all of your patients have Low Back Pain (LBP) and they have sought out EVERY other treatment but OMT. They have had multiple steroid injections, multiple MRIs (usually showing no change between injections), and even visits to the ER due to excessive and unrelenting LBP. They’ve been on every name brand pain-killer you can imagine and are now on Fentanyl and a handful of muscle relaxants from varying doctors. This is the classic, and worst case scenario, LBP patient that we encountered. Objectively, on PE, you have definite findings in this patient and know of several stretches (yes, stretches!) that can promote healing, but they are resistant to physical activity. One of these patients looked at me sardonically and said, “all he wants me to do is stretch?”  To which I said, “well, sounds like nothing else has helped” with a smile. Though it sounds mundane, elementary, and completely unsophisticated given how technologically advanced our society has become, many of the treatments we recommended were simply stretching and increasing physical activity. Many people take for granted their body’s ability to heal if it’s given the chance. There were a handful of patients that came through with LBP causing nerve pain/impingement and these patients were recommended steroid injections and sometimes (rarely) surgery. The Osteopathic Model truly promotes the body’s ability to heal itself if given the proper tools with which to do so and this is what we worked towards on each patient. Stretches, physical activity, and maintaining a healthy body weight are essential in allowing your body to absorb the physical stressors that we deal with daily.

We also had several patients with LBP due to Sacral Base Unleveling and Femoral Height discrepancies that were fitted for shoe/heel lifts. This doctor I worked with would customize shoe lifts in his office for his patients; he would have them bring in up to 3 pairs of shoes (plus indoor slippers) and he’d go into his work space, use his scalpel, and cut out a carbon copied shoe insert and stuck it into each shoe appropriately. Amazon can’t even do that!

Overall this was a pretty solid rotation and now I’m off to get some ice cream.