As my first trimester of Phase II begins to wrap up, I want to share what I have been up to in my Introduction to Naturopathic Primary Care course. Although this course has been very information heavy as it pertains to health conditions that primary care physicians commonly see, I have also learned experientially. On a weekly basis, I have been taking simulated case histories during simulated (SIM) patient encounters with medical actors.
At the beginning of the trimester, I was somewhat nervous about meeting with SIM patients each week. I continued on past my nervousness, and I can now say that these experiences have been incredible. They have given me the opportunity to build up several types of skills that I will need as a future naturopathic physician. I have applied my lecture knowledge to simulated (but realistic) cases, developed my history-taking and communication skills, and learned how to write out informative SOAP notes. I have also learned a bit about how diagnosis codes work, and I have applied them to each case.
It has been quite an interesting (and incredibly useful) learning experience figuring out how to optimize communication with different personality types and actors that “had” various health conditions. As real people are diverse in their personalities, so are the SIM patients! It has been great practice for me. The SIM patients also give us useful feedback about their experiences.
I have put a lot of hard work into this course. As my last SIM patient encounter of this trimester approaches, I realize how much I have learned and grown as a budding health professional. Continuing on through uncertainty and occasional discomfort can definitely lead to amazing learning opportunities and professional growth!