Mon 30 Jun 2008
Last week I was a resident. This week, a fellow.
Ack! Suddently, I’m supposed to be smarter, more beautiful, more intense, and lots more fun. All that in wonderwoman style, with such a quick transition from Family Medicine resident to Family Medicine Fellow? Bollocks!
What in the world is a “fellow”? As always I first consult the handy dandy Wikipedia:
A fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. Historically, the term fellow was also used to describe a man, particularly by those in the upper social classes. Nowadays, it is most often used in an academic context: a fellow is often part of an elite group of learned people who work together as peers in the pursuit of knowledge or practice.
Ah yes, elite. One would think that’s a bad thing after all the “elitism” thrown around about the Obama campaign. Anyway, I just completed an intense 3 year long residency training in Family Medicine (in early August i’ll take my Family Medicine boards exam, which means that after passing, I’ll be properly boarded in this field and if I want, I’ll be able to set up my own little humane, innovative clinic for low-income folks).
I made the decision to pursue a 1-year Fellowship in Faculty Development at my program in Los Angeles, with a focus on Homeless Health Care (and Resident Education). It’s a win-win situation for me. It’s not that I don’t know what i’m going to do and thus am stalling with a fellowship. No-ho-HO. I gave up a wonderful move to Albuquerque to do totally rad work there, I passed on a better salary and possibly more flexibility in my work in Los Angeles, to do this fellowship. It’s all part of a larger strategy for the 10 year clinic/neighborhoodchange/community-building/healing plan :>
I’ll post some of my goals for the year in another post (after I’m done narrowing them down — you have NO idea how long that list is right now!). But for now, this fellowship will afford me opportunities to continue to develop as a competent (and hopefully excellent – in the future) physician, opportunities to teach residents (and therefore really solidify my knowledge as well as develop my teaching skills), and opportunities to also work with homeless populations in Los Angeles and pursue some really rad projects with amazing folks in LA.
So it’s off I go, first thing tomorrow, to serve as a “preceptor” in the clinic in the AM (which means family medicine residents will present a story, if you will, of the patient that they’re seeing in clinic, and i’ll give feedback and suggestions and ask questions about what they plan to do for management of that patients’ conditions, before they go back in to finish seeing the patient and explain their thought processes to the patient to come up with a solution that both of them find acceptable). I’m excited and nervous, and stoked to develop skills to nurture, teach, and challenge doctors in training!
(I’ve also made the decision to try to blog more spontaneously here at Los Anjalis and on the community health justice blog Cure This, which turned one years old this past week!) Hope to share more of what inspires me, more on music, and more on strategy for community change, on a more regular basis.