As our week here at SRMC comes to a close, I reflect back on the variety of clinical settings we were exposed to and the impression they’ve left on me…
1. OPD (aka outpatient clinic): On a typical day this partially subsidized clinic at the medical school can see upwards of 800-1000 patients per day. I was truly astounded how the trainees and consultants/attendings grind through one patient interaction after the next, only occasionally taking a break for chai tea. Time seems to be even more so of a commodity here due to the sheer volume of patients that need to be seen. It almost makes me feel guilty that I get 30 minutes for a single patient visit at my own clinic. At the same time, I feel cheated that we have to spend so much time on charting/EMR stuff, instead of being able to see more patients and learning from those interactions.
2. Rounding on the wards: I’m not the biggest fan of rounding in the US…and the same can pretty much be said about my experience here. The style of rounds here at SRMC starkly contrasts the style at home. Here, attendings lead rounds and discussion—the discussion mostly being Socratic method of questioning. The hierarchy among attending and trainees is obvious here, and makes me have a greater appreciation of the collegiality we have at home.
3. MICU: This was by far one of my favorite experiences. Dr. Ram showed us both the private and subsidized intensive care units and highlighted the contrasts between the two settings, namely the difference in costs, resources/equipment, patient outcomes, and hospital expectations. It was fascinating to learn about the culture of palliative medicine at this institute and also around the country. Dr. Ram is very inspiring and has many great ideas for the ICU. I’m excited to hear what changes he brings to the institute!
4. Community Health Center: this was also one of the highlights of my experience here In Chennai. The health center we visited is part of SRMC and provides coverage of almost 17,000 people living in a rural setting surrounding Chennai. The center seems to be very community driven — they even had a breast feeding awareness event while we were visiting. I was also impressed with the efforts to reach the parts of the community that are unable to get to the clinic with community health workers/outreach and interns who go out into the field to provide care.
Overall I’ve really enjoyed my time here and I’m super appreciative of Dr. Preetam Arthur and his colleagues for giving us the SRMC experience!