Family Medicine

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My Journey from Medschool to an Attending as a Family Doc

How Family Med Chose me

I came to medical school with the purpose of becoming a psychiatrist. Having volunteered as a crisis line counselor, I felt gaining knowledge would enable me save lives and to promote better mental health. However, during third year rotations, my drive to psychiatry wavered with every specialty I experienced. I saw the meticulous kindness pediatricians gave to their patient; felt the rush of a code with hospital intensivist; appreciated the methodical preciseness of the cardiologist. When it was time to pick a specialty, family medicine chose me: It was the only option that didn’t force me to forgo other aspects of medicine

Family Medicine Residency

Rotations in residency were intense, but rewarding and varied. There is an expression that is often use to describe family medicine’s scope: “from womb to tomb” and rotations during residency reflect this motto. I remember times where one moment I was comforting a family of a recently deceased octogenarian, and the next moment, scrubbing in to assist in a c-section to welcome the life of a new baby. Rotations range from neonatology, addiction medicine, global health, to palliative care. l rotated in the hospitals and clinics, but also went to rehab centers, did house calls, and discussed preventative medicine in schools. Some of my co-residents even had the opportunity to teach medicine in Tanzania!!

Life After Residency

After residency, the best aspect I have come to appreciate in this specialty is the relationships formed with the patients and their family. I have the privilege of being the physician to four generations of a single family. I get the honor to watch their baby grow through her milestones, and at the same time discuss with mom signs of postpartum depression. As a family medicine physician, I still became somewhat of a psychiatrist, but also part pediatrician, otolaryngologist, and the other specialties.  Everyday, I still get to use my passion for psychiatry to promote better mental health in my patients. Somedays, its just after I treat their ear infection. 

Darren Cuevas, D.O.

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