My first clinical rotation is located in an underserved community of rural North Carolina working in pediatrics. I have heard wonderful things about this site and the preceptors here, so I have been very excited to begin. As expected, I am fully enjoying this experience not only because of how much growth I am making educationally but also because of the opportunity to work with outstanding people, who challenge me to be better and do more every day.
Throughout life one encounters people who inspire you to improve or be different in some aspect, facilitating personal growth. Within the first few days of this rotation, I knew my current preceptor was going to be one of those people for me. He is an excellent physician, incredibly genuine and kindhearted in his care for his patients. He takes such pride in his community and is dedicated to serving the people in it. He has a passion for teaching and taking time in between patients to explain things to me, which has fostered a comfortable and supportive learning environment. I am incredibly appreciative for the time I will be spending with him over the next four weeks and for the quality of preceptors Duke has provided to us as learners.
This rotation has given me so many things for which to be grateful. I am living in a new city and experiencing a new culture—a refreshing reminder of my passion for community involvement and advocacy. I am also really enjoying working with kids, which is very entertaining but challenging at the same time. Getting a child to be comfortable enough with you to be able to perform an adequate physical exam is a skill in and of itself! I am challenged to sort through pathological processes in my head—reviewing pertinent body systems and what information I need to assess each. Formulating a subsequent plan of action has promoted confidence in the basis of knowledge I have acquired through the didactic year. It is humbling to consider how much I have learned in just one year and to realize that this is only the beginning of a fulfilling lifetime of learning.
PA school has been one of the most challenging yet rewarding experiences of my life. Reflecting on this journey is a powerful reminder of the personal and educational growth that can be made with perseverance and dedication. The opportunity to be molded as a clinician by such compassionate and genuine practitioners is an experience for which I will be forever grateful.