This block we started OMM lab, which was a new experience for me. OMM stands for Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine, which is one of the unique techniques that osteopaths practice compared to our allopathic, or MD, counterparts. We actually started to practice some techniques with our classmates.
We learned techniques that get the lymphatic system moving. This system is what keeps us from getting sick and, when we are sick, it helps us get better. Sometimes it can become stagnant due to the way it pumps through the body. Using certain techniques, Osteopaths get the lymph moving so the body can fight infection or heal.
We also learned musculoskeletal techniques that are used to decrease pain and increase the range of motion for the muscle. We just started the basics of these techniques and should build on them throughout medical school. It is pretty cool being able to use your own hands to heal patients instead of giving pills for everything.
It was really cool having some of these techniques performed on me. One of them actually made me cough and cleared out my lungs; it was pretty crazy.
I also had my first standardized patient, who is someone hired to act like he or she is sick; we, as the doctors, have to diagnose and come up with a treatment. My first patient went well, but it was definitely a different situation then what I was used to.
I used to work as a certified nursing assistant, and they are not the highest on the totem pole of the hospital. Now I was the top guy, the doctor, which was kind of a change of pace for me. It went alright, just need to work on my confidence a little.
The second round in Block 2 went a little bit better. I was able to look like a “real” doctor with my white coat and was truly able to diagnose and treat a so-called “real patient,” even though she was an actor. They also recorded the standardized patient. We are able to look back at our encounter with fellow classmates and with a doctor so we can discuss what we need to work on and what we did well.
It was a little nerve racking at first, but I think it will help me in the long run. My mom always told me I need to work on taking constructive criticism, so hopefully this will help with that.
Each experience opens up the possibilities in how I will be delivering patient care. After all, this is what my path to becoming a full physician is all about.
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