Brandon Reilley, Class of 2008
Class of 2008
The clinical campus was that perfect fit, but it was so much more. As I began interviewing for my pediatric residency all of the program directors were blown away by the innovative idea of medical students being placed in continuity clinics that were very similar to the continuity clinics that are required in most residency training programs. I am speaking, of course, about the family medicine clerkship.
Instead of being the typical 4-6 week rotation our family medicine rotation is concurrent. One half day of every week during the third year of medical school you go to the same family medicine office, with the same attending physician, and most importantly the same patients. Perhaps the most rewarding part of medical school was when I spoke with my family medicine preceptor my fourth year (months after I had finished my rotation with him to thank him for his excellent and PERSONAL letter of recommendation) and he spoke of the fact that many patients were asking where I had been and were disappointed that I no longer would be there to help take care of them. I got into medicine to really make a difference, and here I was just a simple 3rd year medical student already starting to achieve that goal.
But, as I said, the clinical campus goes beyond just that idea of continuity of care. With only a limited number of programs in the hospital, it is the medical students who develop one-on-one working relationships with the attending physicians and thus have easy access to many procedures classically reserved only for residents. While my colleagues in Syracuse were only able to watch the flat screen projection of the latest laparoscopic surgical procedure, I was the one scrubbed into the case, controlling the camera that produced the views seen on those flat screens. While my colleagues in Syracuse struggled to see over 3 or 4 residents while a baby was being born, I was gowned and gloved and able to actually deliver a baby!
There is a saying about the clinical campus that I was told as I began my third year rotations that I whole-heartedly agree with: Syracuse teaches you how to be a resident, and Binghamton teaches you how to be an attending. Mission accomplished! ! !