Journey to DMS | Chapter 11

This is the final chapter of Journey to DMS. On December 11th, 2021, I graduated from Lincoln Memorial University’s Doctor of Medical Science program

LMU Doctor of Medical Science
Lincoln Memorial University Doctor of Medical Science
Doctor of Medical Science in Primary Care Medicine
Doctor of Medical Science in Primary Care Medicine

Be it known that on recommendation of the faculty and by virtue of the authority vested in them the Trustees of Lincoln Memorial University have conferred upon you the degree of Doctor of Medical Science with all the honors, rights, and obligations appertaining thereto. Given at Harrogate, Tennessee in the United States of America, on the eleventh day of December, in the year of our Lord, two thousand twenty-one.

Taking My Final DMS Exams

You have satisfactorily completed the prescribed Doctor of Medical Science curriculum in Primary Care Medicine with all the honors, rights, and obligations appertaining thereto. Given at Harrogate, Tennessee in the United States of America, on the eleventh day of December, in the year of our Lord, two thousand twenty-one.

Towards the completion of the program, we took several mock Family Medicine Board exams. One was through the NEJM Knowledge+ program and the other was via TrueLearn. I didn’t study for these exams, per se, but they were intended to gauge the effectiveness of the program in improving clinical acumen. The NEJM exam was 100 questions and the TrueLearn exam was 200 questions. 

I scored over 80% on the NEJM test which seems to have put me comfortably in the upper quartile, at least. I scored a 69% percentile on the TrueLearn exam which put me in the 73rd percentile. The national average was 64%. My highest scoring categories were Endocrine and Geriatrics and the lowest was Nephrology. 

I feel that I could have done better had I studied (as if it were an actual board exam). But I’m still content with my scores given the fact that I’m being compared to family medicine residents preparing for their boards. 

My Class Presentations

During the 9 specialty modules, I presented to my classmates and the physician mentor several times. Here are a few of my presentation titles:

  • “I Hate You. Don’t Leave Me” A Case Study in Borderline Personality Disorder
  • An Elderly Woman with Cognitive Dysfunction and Gait Abnormality
  • A 61-year-old Female with Polyarthralgia and Fatigue
  • Anemia and Renal Failure in a 21-year-old Female
  • A 71-yea-old Male with Hyponatremia and Shortness of Breath
  • Progressive Weakness and Weightloss in an 18-year-old Female
  • Asymptomatic Alkaline Phosphatase Elevation in a 55-year-old Woman
  • Vaginal Bleeding in a 64-year-old G0 White Female
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

As you can tell, I’m great at coming up with original titles! For each presentation, I would create a PowerPoint summarizing our group’s week-long discussion as well as reviewing fundamental principles of evaluation and management.

Finishing the program is a bit surreal. Over the last 17 months, I’ve grown accustomed to seeing patients all day, reading and working through assignments when I could, then coming home to read for several more hours. Though it’s now February and graduation was 2 months ago, I still feel awkward coming home and not doing homework. 

I bought myself a new nameplate for my desk and had several scrub tops embroidered with my new credentials. I don’t introduce myself as “doctor” but several observant patients have made sure to point it out. It would be nice to be acknowledged more often, but that’s not why I went through the program. That and I hate conflict and I’m just not ready to argue about it. I have another PA student coming in the Spring, I’ll be sure he or she knows what my name is!

Interested in starting from the beginning? Check out Chapter 1 of the Journey to DMS series:

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