Internal Medicine: A Lot Like Being A Detective

Hello! My name is Olivia Bankole. I am a rising junior at the University of Maryland-College Park studying family science, interested in pursuing medicine. I am shadowing Dr. Baksh for this summer.

I’ve been enlightened by my shadowing experience at Healthy Steps Internal Medicine with Dr. Baksh. The first thing that intrigued me is the realization that medicine is far beyond just the patient and the physician interaction. There are amazing assistants that play a major role in the care of the patient. Behind Dr. Baksh, there is a great team informing her of the patients’ information and making sure that all goes smoothly. This may seem like an evident detail to many, but to me, it opened up my eyes to the fact that medicine is a truly team effort. When all players (i.e. assistants, providers) work together, it will be reflected in how the patient is cared for.

There are no words to explain how awesome internal medicine is! It is such a fascinating, complex, and an inviting field of medicine. As Dr. Baksh said, it takes a lot of “detective work”, with a great attention to details. The field of internal medicine is very much analytical. Dr. Baksh had many patients who had an array of symptoms. Going into detective mode, Dr. Baksh investigated each symptom and asked the patients specific questions that could lead to deciphering a possible diagnosis. While shadowing, I was also informed of the role of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and the implications it can bring along. It is well known that cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Because it is a silent killer, many patients slowly accumulate a variety of health issues. While these health issues may not flash as a sign of CVD, they often are. With many of the patients’, Dr. Baksh thoroughly informed them of the bike test and the SLEEP study. Because of her knowledge about the role of cardiovascular health and its implications on other areas of our health, especially with those patients with difficult diagnoses, Dr. Baksh proposed that they participate in these tests in order to zoom in on the possible factors of their symptoms and prevent any case of CVD.

This shadowing experience has definitely made internal medicine an area of interest for me as I work my way into the field of medicine. Dr. Baksh’s loving and open relationship with her patient, her ability to connect with patients from all walks of life, and her ability to investigate her patients’ symptoms gives me an understanding of the kind of physician I want to be.