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1 Person Observation Essay

1436 words - 6 pages

Unexpected Interest
My on-site experience with Dr. Blair was surprisingly brief, less than an hour and a half long, but in this short time, I was able to observe and absorb a great deal of information. This experience took place on the main level of the Military Hospital in the Cancer Center. Even though I was unable to shadow Dr. Blair, an oncology surgeon, during his rounds, I was able to sit in on a multidisciplinary clinic that consisted of a diverse gathering of doctors, nurses, and social workers. After this meeting, which lasted approximately 50 minutes, he took my friend and I into a free room in the Cancer Center to inform us of what was actually happening in the clinic and ...view middle of the document...

Each of these steps takes time, and often this period can be a hindrance to patients and doctors. What the multidisciplinary clinic does is eliminate this waiting period and bring all of the people involved in the care to a single platform. Here, they can collectively decide the most efficient and proper treatment for the individual being reviewed.

Besides conversing about the status of each patient during the multidisciplinary clinic, the doctors were able to actually view their biopsy through a projection on a screen from a microscope. This gave each person who hadn’t seen it before, the opportunity to do so and comment on it. One doctor, who had treated a patient, hadn’t seen a specific slide being shown, and because he now viewed it, certain things were brought to his attention. Since he acquired this new information about the patient, it seemed it improved his projection of her treatment. All of the slides I viewed were of female breast cancers and so many of the slides showed abnormal mammography lesions. The central doctor was able to even ask the group what they all thought he should do in a certain circumstance because he was quite unsure of himself. His colleagues were able to offer advice on whether he should perform a lumpectomy and if radiation would be a necessary treatment.

It was also interesting to see how many factors went into the decisions on what treatment was best for the person. The doctors had to incorporate how each individual’s cancer is unique to that person and then also look at how each person has a different physical, psychological and economical status. Questions often arose about what treatment is needed that is economical for the hospital and the patient, what are the risks involved in a certain treatment to the patient’s condition, how does the patient feel about these treatments, and what is the person’s insurance situation. A lot of it reminded me of a gathering of war officers briefing each other about the enemy and then planning their next attack. In addition, it appeared like this collaboration benefited both the patients and doctors because it encourages more efficient ways in which to treat patients by still maintaining a high, if not better, quality of health care.

From the clinic, Dr. Blair led us into a small room where he told me a little bit about what he does as an oncology surgeon. First, he mentioned that after the four years of his undergraduate studies at the University of Baylor, he attended medical school in Texas. He then did his residency at the University of Michigan. It is very common for any doctor seeking a specialization to undergo 5-7 more years after medical school studying this specific health field and many of these people join a fellowship that corresponds with their area of study. These fellowships often require at least a small amount of research as well. As an oncology surgeon, Dr. Blair explained that he deals with patients directly in the operating rooms and...

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