Shadowing (Part III)

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This past week, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, I shadowed Dr. Diana Girnita, a rheumatologist at Trihealth. I had a very enjoyable experience with Dr. Girnita as we went through 80 patients within those four days, two knee injections and lots of arthritis symptoms.

I also learned a lot about arthritis and received great advice, throughout the week.

Some of the personal advice I was given, included:

  1. Be nice to the nurses– they know a lot and you need to respect them
  2. Make sure to ask the patients their entire history to create a SOAP note; a patient may change  their story on you when describing their symptoms
  3. Some people will be extremely grateful, while others are not
  4. Be empathetic! The patients have been though a lot, and always be empathetic before delivering any news
  5. Do not be afraid to make mistakes and admit your faults. People will appreciate it if you ask questions and admit that a certain treatment/medication is questionable

The diseases I studied (through PowerPoints) and observed this week, include:

Lupus– an inflammatory disease that attacks one’s own organs and tissues (the medication used for lupus were methotrexate and mycophenolate, also known as CellCept)

Arthritis– joint inflammation common in the wrists, fingers, knees and feet (the varying arthritis types included:  inflammatory, osteoarthritis, gout, rheumatoid and psoriatic)

Scleroderma– the tightening and hardening of the tissue connecting joints (more prominent in women than men)

Sj√∂gren’s Syndrome– immune system disease that related to dry eyes and mouth (patient’s with this syndrome carry around lots of water and may develop dental issues)

I am very grateful for the hands-on-experience, Dr. Grinita’s guidance and the patient’s varying situations that I learned from. This experience allowed me to have a proper introduction to shadowing and I hope to continue looking at Rheumatology as a specialty while studying the biological pathways and chemistry behind future treatments!

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