Training Medical Residents

Medical ResidentsOver the last three months I have been working with the CYWH as a youth advisor. My experience has been phenomenal so far. Building a relationship with people I have met at work  has been very beneficial. I have found it comforting to know that I have someone to talk to other than my friends at school or my family at home. Going to work is something that I look forward to because I am eager to see what new topic I can blog about or what I will unexpectedly learn, sometimes just by visiting our website. However, throughout this entire experience, one of my favorite assignments has been helping to train the pediatric residents about effective ways to interview teenagers.

Residents are doctors in training. They have a workshop every month with a senior doctor and the CYWH youth advisors to learn how to interview adolescents who come to the outpatient clinic. The residents are given this opportunity so when they are meeting with adolescent patients for real, they will have the necessary skills to make teen patients feel comfortable. Resident training is really interesting and fun because I get to make up a character that has several medical issues. It is up to the residents to find out what those issues are and give my character advice. The residents must educate the “pretend” patient about issues ranging from making healthy sexual decisions to teaching teens about the importance of using condoms – basically teaching them right from wrong. The residents are also very friendly and interactive, so it makes it easy to work with them and give them constructive feedback on what they did well, or what they need improvement with.

Having this experience has also helped me to mature as a person and gain self-confidence. Before I started participating in the resident trainings, I was very shy and quiet and I didn’t really enjoy interacting with people I didn’t know well. Since then, I have learned how to be myself and I realize that it’s okay to talk about certain situations with other people. My personal doctor visits have also become fun because  I’m aware of the questions that my doctor will ask, and this makes it less intimidating and more relaxing for me. For example, I now know that anything I mention to my doctor will always be confidential unless I am putting myself or others around me at risk. Knowing this really allows me to open up even more to my doctor and not be afraid of being judged or anyone finding out what I tell her. Therefore, I am really grateful for this experience because I am also gaining knowledge about what it will be like when I am ready to attend medical school some day.