Media Article: Medical Student, Student Physician or Student Doctor?

By: Joshua Niforatos
Submitted by: Mary Launder, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science

After introducing myself as a first-year medical student working with the attending physician, I went through the medical history with the patient to ascertain his chief complaint and the history of present illness. Since this was only a six-month follow-up appointment in an internal medicine outpatient clinic, there was not much to cover besides checking whether his medications were up-to-date and how he had been managing his chronic conditions. As this was my last patient of the day, I asked if I could practice various aspects of the physical exam that were not necessary for his appointment. Typical of my experience in longitudinal clinic, the patient obliged and thought it was great that he would get some “additional care.” “Are you a fellow or something?” he asked during the exam. “No, no. I’m a first-year medical student,” I reminded him.  It seems that “fellow” and “medical student” were synonymous to this individual. Part of the curriculum of my medical school includes various readings in both the social sciences and the humanities. We recently reflected upon the titles we are known by, such as medical student, student physician or student doctor. More specifically, what is meant by the names and titles we are known by? After contemplating how to introduce myself to patients, I offer the following reflection.

Read the full article in in-Training here.

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