Chase DiMarco talks to Dr. Frank Okosun, an internal medicine specialist providing evidence-based medical care in both hospital and outpatient settings. He also has a particular interest in chronic disease management and occupational health. They talk about telemedicine, challenges facing residents in internal medicine, and strong residency letters of recommendation.
- [00:50] Challenges Facing Residents in Internal Medicine
- [02:10] Dr. Okusun’s Background in Occupational Health and Safety
- [04:38] Family Medicine Versus Internal Medicine
- [07:22] Internal Medicine: Things you Should Know as a Medical Student
- [08:58] What is Telemedicine?
- [11:40] Tips for Students Applying for Residency Positions in Internal Medicine
- [13:20] Strong Residency Letters of Recommendation
- [15:11] The Competitive Nature of Internal Medicine
- [17:41] Qualities of an Exceptional Internal Medicine Student
- [21:19] Advice to Aspiring Internal Medicine Practitioners
Occupational Health and Safety
It’s no secret; employees are a company’s most valuable asset. However, having employees is just not good enough; employers should aim to have happy and healthy employees, and that’s where Dr. Okusun comes in. Armed with a background in occupational health, Dr. Okusun conducts physical, social, and mental health assessments on workers in the hundreds of oil and gas companies surrounding his practice. Companies in his area of practice require employees to undergo physical examinations and pre-employment drug screens as part of their larger health plan. These measures are often taken to ensure the safety of the employees and their co-workers while preventing or tackling any work-related diseases.
Family Medicine Versus Internal Medicine
Patients and medical students often struggle to differentiate between a family doctor and an internal medicine doctor. Although there might be some overlap between the two disciplines, there are several significant differences between the two. First, family medicine focuses on treating patients of all ages– both kids and adults, while internal medicine is focused on the unique needs of adult patients. Second, family medicine physicians enjoy unlimited interactions with their patients. This means that family doctors form bonds and relationships with their patients that can last several years. In internal medicine, however, there is a massive chance that you’ll meet a different doctor every time you schedule a doctor’s appointment.
Residency Letters of Recommendation
Whether applying for residency or post-residency programs, a strong letter of recommendation will always be a valuable addition to your resume. Program directors value opinions and assessments from people you worked with, especially specialists in a specific field. Unfortunately, knowing when, how, and from whom to ask for letters is often a major concern for most medical students and residents. Dr. Okusun believes that asking for letters of recommendation should never be a problem if you worked hard and impressed during your stay at a particular institution. Remember, the doctor recommending you is putting their reputation at stake. Thus, if you want a strong letter of recommendation, you better be prepared to work for it.
Competitive Nature of Internal Medicine
One possible explanation for the competitive nature of internal medicine can be linked to the ever-increasing number of students taking up student loans. When students come out of med schools, they are often burdened with student loans, with most of them wanting to clear the loans as quickly as possible. The only way to achieve that is by taking up specialist, high-paying fields such as dermatology, plastic surgery, and cardiology. These fields are usually associated with high-income potential and less work stress.
Furthermore, the past decade or so has seen an increase in the number of new medical schools, but the number of residency positions rarely increases. This means that medical schools are churning out fresh graduates every year, yet Federal governments are still capping the number of residency positions in States.
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