The One with OB/GYN

I’ve been on OB/GYN for five weeks now. It feels like I’ve been doing this forever, but at the same time, like it’s barely been a day and I haven’t possibly learned enough to be one week from done.

I think that’s par for the course on this one though, because if I could describe OB/GYN in one word, it’s contrast.

It’s the silent tears of joy on a mother’s face as her newborn lets out his first cry, and it’s the wails of despair of the mother who came in for her scheduled C section to discover her baby no longer had a heart beat.

It’s holding a mother’s hand as she gives that final push, and it’s holding the sobbing teenager’s hand as she prepares to terminate her pregnancy.

It’s counseling a young woman about her birth control options, and it’s explaining to the newlywed couple how to prepare for pregnancy.

It’s the gross smells and excruciating pain and bloody vaginal lacerations of labor, and it’s the beauty of new life entering the world.

It’s pointing out her baby’s wildly beating heart on prenatal ultrasound, and it’s showing her the scan that shows the ovarian tumor that will probably kill her.

From a more medical perspective, it’s the medicine of evaluating vaginitis and screening for cervical cancer, and it’s the careful surgery of a laparoscopic hysterectomy or tubal ligation.

It’s acute care for vaginitis, and it’s chronic care for ongoing pelvic pain.

Perhaps the biggest contrast of all: it’s entering the rotation convinced that you’ll never live a life looking into vaginas and allowing unborn children to make your schedule, and it’s finishing the rotation realizing that so many things about OB/GYN are exactly what you want from your career.

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