I recently had the pleasure of undertaking a one-month clinical rotation with Dr. Usman Khan. From the very first week it was clear that Dr. Khan is an esteemed interventional cardiologist who is well respected by his colleagues and patients. He was very considerate and ensured I had a broad range of experiences. At Epic Heart and Vascular Center, I had the opportunity to take histories, perform clinical examination, use the EMR system and discuss cases with Dr. Khan. I found that this improved my communication skills and enhanced my efficiency when seeing new patients. Dr. Khan would also take time to review various investigations in my presence and explain the intricacies of EKG, ECHO and nuclear stress testing interpretation. I was also exposed to the most cutting-edge office-based procedures in the management of chronic venous insufficiency, including radiofrequency ablation, Venaseal and Varithena.
By assigning academic and readings tasks, Dr. Khan would encourage me to learn evidence-based medicine and ensure I was up to date with the latest developments in cardiology. He also gave me the opportunity to present a meta-analysis on the role of omega-3 fatty acids on incidental atrial fibrillation. Elsewhere in the clinic, I aligned myself with the cardiology technicians and ultrasonographers to further my knowledge of diagnostic imaging. Here I learned the importance of understanding different imaging modalities and their interpretation. The teamwork of all staff at the clinic was exemplary and promoted an inclusive environment. This benefited the patients through efficient and streamlined operations.
Dr. Khan afforded me the opportunity to shadow him during inpatient consultations and procedures at the hospital. We would see patients during daily rounds and discuss each case in depth. I was struck by how Dr. Khan would relate each case back to the basic sciences so that I precisely understood the relevant pathophysiology. During coronary angiography, Dr Khan would take time to explain the procedures and review images upon its completion. I was inspired by his ability to simultaneously carry out the procedure, lead the team in the laboratory, remain composed during life-saving interventions and have time to explain the case.
Overall, I feel that the most valuable lesson from this experience was the importance of communication. Dr. Khan keeps an excellent rapport with his patients and has a compassionate, empathetic, and professional manner. These are attributes which I have witnessed during this rotation and will hopefully develop as I progress in my career. I wholeheartedly recommend this experience for any student looking to learn about the healthcare system of the USA.