By Lily | October 13, 2011
(#LongestBlogTitleEver) All three of these individuals were “patients” in my Humanistic & Social Issues in Medicine & Biomedical Sciences class. Wow, we’re all for the long titles today. But anyway, can I just FREAK OUT about how much I love this class? It makes me unbelievably excited to be a healthcare professional.
Learning to Take a Medical History
Essentially we’re learning how to get medical histories from patients, from the HoPI (History of Present Illness) to social history, family history, sexual history, and all variations of the above. Which includes adolescents/children, patients of different cultures, patient situations in which there may be violence or domestic abuse, angry/noncompliant patients, etc. etc.
We learn and discuss journal articles and also watch videos on whatever aspect of the History we’re learning for a given week, and then get to put what we learn into practice by interacting with “patients” in practice in interviews. My major is largely research-focused, so this is really the first clinical training I’ve gotten beyond my informal learning from my mom’s practice and the free dental clinic where I volunteer.
It’s amazing how much goes into the questions your doctor or other healthcare provider asks in a routine visit! And for those of us who are pretty much healthy it’s crazy seeing what kinds of conditions patients may need assistance with.
Take today for example– our patient (normally they’re actors) appeared to just need help quitting smoking, but after the right questions he revealed that he was actually born a woman, and made the transition to living as a man (with hormone therapy) a few years ago.
Not something your average straight female sees every day, so it was really fascinating to talk to him. (it turned out he actually *wasn’t* completely acting, and had been asked to come in to portray his real previous experiences)
Overall, these types of interactions have really helped to blow me from the campus bubble that you can easily get lost in during college. Even within our campus community, there are individuals with “atypical” experiences, and it’s so fascinating to get to hear these stories. And of course, I’m really looking forward to the day when I can do more than just listen!
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