I did a 4-week elective with Dr. Khan in January 2023. I saw patients independently in the Clinic, greatly enhancing my proficiency in these areas. The patient population I encountered exhibited a broad spectrum of cardiovascular issues, including hypertension, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, chest pain, shortness of breath, and lower extremity pain. I was also able to work on the Electronic Medical record system for the first time in my life and became quite proficient at it at the end of my elective.
Working in the Clinic also allowed me to refine my counseling skills. I actively engaged with patients, guiding lifestyle modifications such as dietary adjustments, exercise routines, and smoking cessation. I learned to calculate the ASCVD risk of patients and prescribed Lipitor accordingly. Moreover, I learned to emphasize the importance of medication adherence by educating patients about the mechanisms of action of their prescribed medications and conveying complex concepts clearly and understandably.
During my elective, I was exposed to a broad spectrum of Cardiovascular pathologies, like Diastolic heart failure, systolic heart failure patients, and Dilated cardiomyopathy. I used to take their history, do relevant physical examinations, and formulate a management plan to present to Dr. Khan. He always appreciated my presentations and gave feedback, allowing me to enhance my presentation skills. Furthermore, I successfully diagnosed a patient developing gynecomastia on spironolactone, and we discontinued spironolactone in that patient. I was also exposed to patients presenting with vascular pathologies. I acquired proficiency in conducting thorough examinations of the lower extremities, counseling on the conservative management of varicose veins, and observing novel procedures for treating varicose veins, such as Varithena and radiofrequency ablation. I quickly enhanced my EKG interpretation skills under Dr. Khan’s guidance, and he was amazed at the speed at which I was learning and always spoke highly of me to the other students and the staff.
I also presented the ‘AHA guidelines for the Evaluation and management of syncope’ to Dr. Khan. Dr. Khan always used to have brainstorming question sessions with us students, and I used to be at the forefront of answering all the questions. Dr. Khan once asked us about the most common cause of SVTS in young vs. old patients that no student had ever answered, and I was the one that answered the question, which made me one of the most favorite students of Dr khan.
Additionally, I had the privilege of observing interventional cardiology procedures, including heart catheterization and angioplasty, when I accompanied Dr. Khan in the Cath lab in the hospital. I also learned about fractional flow reserve (FFR), a method employed in interventional cardiology to assess the extent of stenosis in affected blood vessels. I also saw the wonders of the US healthcare system when I observed and learned the techniques involved in the Impella heart pump insertion and studied the literature on the relevant guidelines of the patient population requiring Impella insertion.
In the final week of my elective, I had the opportunity to strengthen my mentoring skills by guiding a new group of medical students. I mentored them on effectively utilizing the electronic medical record system, organizing their notes, and approaching patients in a cardiac care setting.
Overall my experience was great. I built a long-lasting relationship with Dr. Khan, the nurse practitioner, and the staff in the Clinic. All were very supportive, and the inclusive environment in the Clinic is one that I will remember all my life.