Internal Medicine – Day 29

Not sure what else I have to say that I haven’t already said about this rotation. I’m a little tired of always saying it’s bittersweet to be ending a rotation, even if it’s genuinely how I feel. At the end of the day I went around to let the patient’s I was taking care of know that it was my last day. There was the gentleman with a Wernicke/ Korsakoff encephalopathy who everyday would forget who I am and yet also believe I was somehow a good acquaintance of his outside of the hospital. There was the woman I just met today with a pretty complicated social history and a newly complicated medical history, who despite all that appeared to be coming in for a relatively simple drug rash. Last but not least, there was the gentleman who came in telling us he wanted to die, which turned out was out of desperation given his social situation and alcohol use, and he just wants a place to feel safe.

The population they serve at county is not always an easy one, but that’s part of what makes the work rewarding; feeling like we are helping people in their most vulnerable moments. Yet I can’t help but think about the role our healthcare system plays in perpetuating some of the barriers and inequities that get patients sent to us in the first place. But maybe that’s a discussion for another time.

Right now I will just focus on appreciating the small role I was able to play in my patients’ care and hope that in some way I was able to make their experience and the care they received a little bit better.

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