My family medicine rotation started yesterday, and it's been nice so far. The rotation is entirely outpatient, with no call nights and every weekend free...which is great because i never had a "golden weekend" for 8 weeks on medicine. In many ways, the family medicine rotation is different from other rotations, and not just because it's entirely outpatient, but also in terms of philosophy and mindset. There's an emphasis on continuity of care, being the medical "home" for a patient, and doctors can care for entire families throughout the generations. The "bread and butter" conditions for family medicine are chronic -- HTN, COPD/asthma, HL, CAD, DM. Psychosocial issues like substance abuse, domestic violence, or homelessness -- which can be swept under the rug by time constraints in an inpatient ward -- become more important during family medicine.
During orientation, the clerkship director asked us how patients have already been affected medically even before we see them during the first new patient visit. It was a confusing question, but it's not just past surgeries or vaccinations, etc. that affect a patient...other factors such as environmental pollution, McDonald's, and rising gas prices can affect someone's health. I never appreciated how family medicine can be a vehicle for advocacy for many different things in the "real world" that impact health and well-being.
On another (non med) note, the media has exploded recently with the debut of Sarah Palin -- i've never seen so much press on one person in one week. She has made the news interesting lately, to say the least.