Dr. Gomez discusses proper mentorship as the key to preparing students for sensitive and specific patient care in Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Dr. James Gomez is board-certified in Obstetrics & Gynecology in the Chicago area and has been a clinical educator for over 10 years. As a community physician, he handles both in-clinic patients and prenatal care as well as hospital deliveries and surgeries. This specialty uniquely borders between primary care, surgery, and other subspecialties depending on each physician’s scope of practice.
Preceptors in OBGYN (OB/GYN) often have a particularly sensitive population and special care is often needed when preparing students for their patients. They must also assess their students for their level of knowledge and interest in order to best plan how to approach the individual’s clinical education. Proper mentorship is key. Gaining the respect of one’s students is never a bad idea, and being too strict is unnecessary. However, Dr. Gomez cautions that boundaries must be set between the student and preceptor in order to keep a professional and proper learning environment.
Medical students are required to participate in several weeks of clinical education in OBGYN for their core rotations. They may also choose to gain more experience in OBGYN during their elective rotations. Students that show an interest in the topics and patients likely to present in this clinical setting are likely to be more involved and gain the attention of their preceptor. A student is expected to gain basic ultrasound technical skills, read the US monitor, monitor lab and hormone changes, and follow these assessments to a diagnosis and treatment plan.
It has to make sense. Not all lab results and patient’s signs or symptoms add up to the typical case. Atypical presentations are much more common in the clinic than on the boards.
Develop a preceptor-student bond and get on the same page. The relationship between clinical preceptor and student may be strained and distant or maybe inappropriately close. Make sure to foster a healthy learning environment.
Be active with your education. Forcing a preceptor to repeat his/herself multiple times may demonstrate a lack of interest by the student and strain the rest of the medical externship.