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The Life of an AUA Clinical Student: FIU HWCOM Edition

FIU HWCOM has been a terrific experience for me so far. I’m currently on my Internal Medicine rotation along with other AUA students who are in the same rotation or participating in Family Medicine or Surgery. It’s refreshing to work with so many talented clinical students and such helpful attendings, residents, and hospital staff.

My rotation takes place at Westchester Hospital, one of the few teaching hospitals in FIU HWCOM’s local network. When I arrived in Miami, my housing was ready and I was able to move in immediately. The apartment is roomy and in a lively area with great options for dining, going out, and relaxing. Plus, it’s conveniently close to the hospital, which is useful since I have to wake up so early.

My typical day starts at 7am with pre-rounds and by 8am, I have to file a morning report. After that, I round with my attending and participate in a short lecture until 11am. I then work on my SOAP notes and H&Ps for an hour.  This is followed by a 2-3 hour lecture taught by Dr. Suarez. It’s similar to the pre-clinical courses in Basic Sciences but incorporates a lot of what we learn throughout the day.

Dr. Suarez really takes the time answer our questions, especially if we have any difficulty understanding the material. He’s incredibly knowledgeable and has a way of explaining complicated ideas in a very practical manner. The lecture also acts as a STEP 2 review course, where we learn about material that will be covered on the exam. We also practice on sample questions. During each lecture, we read two chapters out of Essentials to Clinical Medicine and watch American College of Physicians videos. That way, we can discuss the ideas from them immediately. After the lecture, I finish writing up my SOAP notes and H&Ps and then the day is over around 4pm.

Though it sounds pretty basic, there are some challenges. I’ve encountered many patients who only speak Spanish. As a non-native speaker, it’s difficult to overcome that language barrier. That’s when I have to rely on the staff to translate for me.  Luckily, they’re more than willing to help a clinical student in need.

I would highly recommend other students to apply for FIU HWCOM core rotations. Even while I’m on my Internal Medicine rotation, I’ve been given insights to different departments in the hospital. The Westchester Hospital has fostered a culture of learning that makes it easy to discover a variety of specialties. This program goes beyond the completion of core rotations: its environment encourages me to find the specialty that’s right for me.

by Garry Mann, Class of 2015