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Medical School Versus Real-Life Experience

How one approaches patients is not always the same. Medical school & real-life experience differ.

November 17, 2021

Medical school will teach you what you need to know to become a doctor. It will teach you what to ask when taking a good history and physical: age of onset, duration of symptoms, quantity, quality, frequency, and associated symptoms. Residency teaches you how to apply this knowledge to real life patients and to come up with a differential diagnosis.

Experience teaches you to look at the intangibles as well: prior visits, personality, gender, culture, occupation, family dynamics, and even the way that the patient physically looks as they are telling the story. These factors can be equally as important when determining the underlying cause of a patient’s medical problem.

Patients are not created equal. Each patient should be addressed in such a way that a mutual message and understanding is achieved. Variations of interview style is essential, as some patients respond to a paternalistic physician, some to an emotional physician, and some to an authoritarian physician. The goal is to reach the patient, to connect, to earn their trust and ultimately to successfully treat their illness.

Cheers to learning from our experiences, and always striving to be the best you ✌🏽

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. For more information, or to submit your own opinion, please see our submission guidelines or email opmed@doximity.com. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Find out what we’re looking for here and submit your writing, or send us a pitch.

All opinions published on SomeDocs-Mag are the author’s and do not reflect the official position of SoMeDocs, its staff, editors. SoMeDocs is a magazine built with the safety of free expression and diverse perspectives in mind. Do you have a compelling personal story you’d like to see published on SoMeDocs? Submit your own article now here.

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