By Ben Saul, Harish Thoppe, and Larry Kravitz, MD
It is hard to lay bare your personal medical practice to the eyes of another professional. As I have told every medical student on rotation with me, “You will learn from me how to practice medicine right, but you will also quietly learn how to practice medicine wrong, seeing things you will know you never want to repeat.” We are imperfect. When we are teaching medical students, we showcase our successes, but we relinquish any hope of hiding our professional flaws. You must make your own peace with that in order to teach. You must trust in the benevolence of students to see that you stepped up to the plate and volunteered to try to raise their medical skills.
Medical students shadow and practice, practice and shadow. They come and go, usually for four short weeks within a family medicine rotation. But scribes come and stay; they are the ultimate shadows. Muted by the nature of their mission. Silent witness to the inner clinical sanctum. We take them on to share the exhausting intensity of our trusting patients with their challenging mortal illnesses and aging. A bond develops with your scribe, often unspoken, yet undeniably strong. more