Lessons from Clinical Experience 1: Week 1

I didn’t put a terrible amount of thought going into my first clinical experience. I knew I’d be working in a setting that is primarily worker’s comp and didn’t want to open myself up to a lot of the negative connotations associated with it. The night before I had an oh sh*t moment and it hit me like a freight train that I’d be treating real people. I got out the textbooks and started flipping through my anatomy and orthopedic texts. Eventually I convinced myself all I’d probably do my first week would be leading patients through a couple exercises and would have time to review as I went along. I did a shoulder eval on the first day.

Here are some of the things I learned from my first week:

  1. Via a patient: Cannabis oil can target, hone in, and cure cancer and there is apparently this big conspiracy to prevent it from becoming a legitimate medicine. I’ll remember that if I ever get pancreatic cancer.
  2. Commuting is the worst. Luckily right now I am carpooling so gas isn’t a horrendous cost right now. Two hours in a car makes it ridiculously challenging to try and accomplish much of anything once I come home. By the time I work out for about an hour and cook dinner, the sun has already set. I completely understand why someone with not as much gumption would forego a healthy lifestyle.
  3. Conversing about polarizing topics is tricky business. Voting in what became the most contentious and uncertain transition of power the US has ever seen was great for my stress levels during this week of firsts. As someone who usually either speaks strongly or doesn’t speak at all, small talk about emotive topics with patients has been exceedingly difficult.
  4. Small talk is kind of hard for Sam in general to begin with. I’m getting better out of necessity because I need my patients to buy into our treatments so we can better achieve their goals.
  5. I feel like the champ Muhammad Ali when he beat Sonny Liston when a patient reports they are markedly improved.
  6. It is straight devastating when a patient is doing worse. It is immensely challenging to stop thinking about all the variables I could have modified. Hard to find an escape from the ruminations, but at least it is a cogent reminder that I care.

This really could be an endless list. A man can learn a lot from paying for forty hours of labor. About time to get back on the grind for week two.


Ramble on,


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