We’re excited to celebrate our Graduate Medical Education program through a blog series that will culminate with GME Appreciation Day on February 16. Get to know the names and faces of our program! The GME department is comprised of residents, fellows, program directors, associate program directors, program administrators and GME office staff.
It is 7:45 on a Tuesday, just before the clinic opens for the day, and I am meeting with one of the nurses to review my schedule for the day. As a family medicine provider, I am able to see patients from all walks of life – men, women, children, the elderly, and everyone in between. This morning alone, I am seeing a four-year-old girl for her yearly wellness exam, an older gentleman for monthly follow-up of long term breathing issues, a 20-something year-old with new onset abdominal pain, and a woman pregnant with her second child, among other patients.
My nurse and I are discussing our plan for the day. At Milton Family Practice, each provider is paired with a nurse or medical assistant. By meeting as a team beforehand, my nurse and I are able to plan how to provide the best possible care for each of our patients today. As a family medicine doctor, I love that I am able to provide care for everyone in the family!
I am a Family Medicine Resident in my third (and final) year of training. As a resident, I have already finished medical school and have a medical degree; but, I am also still training to become an independent provider. As a teaching hospital, the UVM Medical Center is home to about 300 residents and fellows, including 18 family medicine residents. As residents, we are all training under our more senior providers, who help to guide us as we develop our clinical skills.
I am also one of the “Chief Residents” for the family medicine residency program. In this role, I have administrative duties and am able to play an active role in the graduate medical education of family medicine residents. I aid with scheduling, help with teaching sessions, and provide support for the other residents in my program. It has been a privilege to take on this role over the last year. I feel that I am not only making a difference for my patients as a doctor, but also helping to establish an enjoyable working and learning environment in which my fellow residents may thrive.
On this particular day, my morning clinic goes well; my nurse and I are working together like a well-oiled machine. During my lunch break, I take some time to chat with our program administrator – we are trying to figure out the schedule for one of our upcoming education sessions – and then find one of interns and check in with her. She has just finished a difficult month on one of the hospital services, but reports that she felt well supported during her month despite the long hours. She has some suggestions about how the month could be restructured, and I jot down a few notes to pass along to the administrative leaders of the family medicine program.
My afternoon clinic starts at 1:30 p.m., and before I know it the day has flown by. I pack my stethoscope into my bag and gather up my various belongings before saying good bye to the few office staff members that are remaining. It was a busy day filled with 18 patient visits, and I still have several notes to write when I get home. But, as always, I leave the office with feeling fulfilled and eager to see what tomorrow will bring.
Gordon Powers, MD, is chief resident in the family medicine residency program at the UVM Medical Center.