(English) Cathy-Anne CharlesMD
Medical School - St. Matthew’s
Residency - Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency Program
Cathy-Anne Charles, MD was born in the United States Virgin Islands and is a former Brooklynite. Before starting medical school, she worked in a variety of health-related fields includes laboratory medicine and clinical research. Dr. Charles believes that family medicine offers a diverse patient population and enjoys the continuity of patient care.
You are wrapping up your first year. How do you feel now compared to when you just started?
I feel more comfortable in the doctor shoes. When I first started it was a little nerve-wracking, because you’re worried that you’re not telling the patient the right information. You studied, you passed the boards, but I think the actual experience of trying to apply it works a little differently.
Can you tell me about a typical day when rotating at the outpatient office?
If I am working in the outpatient office, I will have an average of four to six patients. Being in the office is great because we have more time with our patients – we have more time to review medications, talk about what’s going on with home life, and other personal issues. After talking with the patient, my preceptor and I will discuss the plan. What I like is that I have time to tell my preceptor, “This is what I think it is, but I would really like you to see what it is too.” You learn a lot.
What challenges have you faced?
I think the biggest challenge I have had was to tell a family that the person that they knew had an irreversible condition and that their loved one was not going to, neurologically, be the same person. Sometimes I don’t have all the answers to their questions. It’s a challenge to bring that message to a family member and to be confident and console them. You are trying to help them understand that this upsetting thing occurred that is beyond our control.
What are you looking forward to in your next year of residency?
I am excited to go on to the next challenge of teaching the new interns. I always think it’s an honor to teach someone. My philosophy from my grandfather is that knowledge is useless if it’s not shared.