jocg27

Senior Member
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May 23, 2006
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Medical Student
Hey -- just wondering about this...

I've been planning to see an internist for a while for some general health concerns, nothing emergent or anything. I haven't had a real PCP since I was like 12. I HATE the student health service at my school from my very limited exposure and am not going there (not to mention it is staffed by not only our attendings, but also our residents, and rotated at by our students, as it's at our hospital's med-peds clinic).

One of my attendings is, by all accounts and by my own observation, an awesome doc. Would it be a bad idea to become a patient, well after the rotation is over, evals in etc? Should I just find someone totally random somewhere? I'm not going into medicine and my chance of working with him again as a student or resident would be pretty small, if that makes any difference. I do see why it might not be the greatest idea though. Anyone done this?
 

Kubed

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If you're comfortable with it, and he's comfortable with it, than i don't see why it would be a problem. Just make sure you respect the new boundaries this would bring (ie, if you have his cell number from being on rotation with him, it isn't appropriate to call him for personal medical advice as a pt, etc)
 

Rendar5

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Nov 12, 2003
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The Family Med Practice I go to when I'm sick is actually the one I worked at as a 1st year for my intro to clinical medicine course. Sometimes I see the NP I worked directly with, sometimes I see the main FP who I didn't work with. Needless to say, it's now a doctor-patient relationship and not a mentor relationship in any way. So I don't see any problems with approaching him for it.

The only caveat I can think is that if you want a LoR from him, that could make it tricky, and it would be best to get one before you see him as a patient.
 

muscles

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Feb 2, 2008
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My ped's attending (trained in med/peds) is my pediatrician for our 4 month old and he also sees my wife. I did ask him for a LOR; personally, I don't think it matters, if you are both comfortable with it.
 

71263

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Dude, Ive asked for medical advice and gotten prescriptions during several rotations. Over at the family med clinic I worked at, people would do this all the time. Any sick employees could get quickly screened and prescribed meds after getting a brief H and P. Hell, the 5 doctors that work together there see each other as their own physicians, and they tell me that it doesnt get awkward and things can be kept professional.
 

vtucci

Attending in Emergency Medicine
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Aug 6, 2003
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I don't think it is inappropriate to have your attending as your personal physician as long as they are comfortable with it as well. They recognize that it can be tricky for students to get in to see Student Health Services given the normal operating hours.

Also, I understand it is tricky if you have a serious or embarassing medical issue (i.e., STD) and want an LOR from that doc.
 

MedGoatTX

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Oct 29, 2007
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My father's OB/Gyn resident from when he was a med student later delivered my younger brother and sister. Not only do I see no problem with going to see someone/sending family to someone you've worked with professionally, I think it's the best way to know who's good or not.
 

sunlioness

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Feb 23, 2007
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I think it would be fine. My PCP was was my clinical skills preceptor as an MSII. The only thing was that when I matched into internal medicine at my home program, she became my PD and I had to find a new PCP at that point. But now that I switched over to a different specialty, she's my PCP again.
 

MattD

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Why would anyone's only choice be either an attending from a rotatioin or student health? This isn't to the OP, whose question has been answered, just directed at a few of the comments made. Why can't you just look in the yellow pages for a family doc and go audition a few with colds and such till you find one you like?

I used student health in undergrad because it was convenient and i actually like the docs there, and because it was a PHENOMINAL student health center compared to most i've seen. Since med school started tho, i've just been seeing a local doc, as the student health service here is far less convenient and i do NOT like the setup. I HAVE however 'referred' loved ones to specialists at the university hospital (not student health) I've met who i felt were very qualified. Said specialists have always been happy to work in said loved ones, and my own relationship with them has not been affected (I don't know why it would be though...)
 

drcopa

MS4, UPSOM
10+ Year Member
Hey -- just wondering about this...

I've been planning to see an internist for a while for some general health concerns, nothing emergent or anything. I haven't had a real PCP since I was like 12. I HATE the student health service at my school from my very limited exposure and am not going there (not to mention it is staffed by not only our attendings, but also our residents, and rotated at by our students, as it's at our hospital's med-peds clinic).

One of my attendings is, by all accounts and by my own observation, an awesome doc. Would it be a bad idea to become a patient, well after the rotation is over, evals in etc? Should I just find someone totally random somewhere? I'm not going into medicine and my chance of working with him again as a student or resident would be pretty small, if that makes any difference. I do see why it might not be the greatest idea though. Anyone done this?

I started med school wanting to be "anonymous" and sought drs who had nothing to do with the school... they also turned out to be lousy drs and by 3rd yr I was on meds with side effects that were making school impossible and I finally decided to forget anonymity- I needed a GOOD dr! So I chose someone who is on faculty, directs a lot of our courses, well known to all students- but at least I knew she was a good physician. And she truly rescued me from the mess that was my life at that time. And because of her involvement with school, she was able to be my spokesperson there if I needed time off, or to answer questions I had about studying, etc given my migraines. I say go for it!
 

buffah

MSIV
10+ Year Member
Sep 12, 2008
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Medical Student
one of my docs is a clerkship director who's son or daughter was accepted as a first yr student at my medical school. in addition to taking my medical history, my doc/attending also asks me about my board scores, other grades, and tips for being a parent of a med student!

oh and i chose this doc b/c early on in med school, i thought "hmm, clerkship directors and chairpersons must be smart docs"....but now as a patient on further along in medical school, they do not always have the ideal bedside manners