The One After OB/GYN

Third year of medical school is kind of like getting thrown into a pool. Only you’ve spent two years memorizing every single method that you could use to swim, and all the things that could go wrong when you try to swim, and all the chemicals you could add to the water, and all the approaches you can use to jump.

Except that all of the memorizing and analyzing and studying in the world can’t possibly prepare you for that moment you hit the water, when the cold makes your breath stop and your limbs flail wildly just for a split second until you’ve righted yourself in the water and your body acknowledges that it did not just die. But I guess that’s what third year’s all about: jumping into the pool, over and over and over, and they’re just watching to see how well you sink or swim.

And of course, I was convinced that my efforts were going to result in something along these lines:

Third year requires being prepared to do this on a daily basis

But somehow, I survived OB/GYN, and my first rotation is under my belt. It’s actually kind of crazy how quickly you learn to adapt. And admittedly, there were nights were I came home and pulled one of these:

…sometimes, if I was lucky, I’d manage to scarf down about 5 Oreos for dinner before my head hit the pillow.

Anyway, basic final thoughts on OB/GYN:

-Thought I would hate it. Couldn’t imagine possibly dedicating six weeks to lady parts. But I loved it. I loved working with women; I loved participating in delivering new life; I love that it’s a doctor’s appointment that most women will attend consistently so that it builds continuity.

-I’m recognizing that I want a specialty with a lot of patient interaction. I want to know my patients, I want to be there with them through the course of an entire problem. I’d LOVE to follow through with my depressed patient from a few weeks ago; I wish I was in a position where I could.

-Third year is SO much better than second year. I’m not meant to be trapped at a desk all day, although time management skills are a must, because the SHELF exam was scary. Although there’s a part of me that’s convinced I would not have ever studied the topics on the exam even if I had spent more time, so maybe it’s just a product of lacking the knowledge base from other blocks.

-OB/GYN is a really awesome mix of medicine and surgery, but a very specialized knowledge base, which is what makes it a stellar first block and an attractive career option. You learn some medicine and surgical skills, but you’re not cramming endless amounts of information into your brain.

-My vasovagal response is still in tact: managed to ALMOST pass out in my first Caesarian section, but I did the responsible thing and stepped out and discovered I really do get THAT pale when it happens. The bright side? It only happened that once, so maybe I can be a surgeon. Maybe.

-Newsflash: working in OB does NOT necessarily mean your life is controlled by unborn children. You just have to be okay with letting your partners deliver your patients when you’re not on scheduled call.

-I managed to gain weight on this rotation. That’s what happens when you have second breakfast because you woke up at 4 AM but can’t survive your morning clinic without something extra, and you get home so tired you can’t exercise. Diet and exercise in medical school is an art form.

-OB/GYNs have a terrible reputation. I must say, at my hospital, I did not meet a single doctor who fit the total Type A super-bitch mold.

Top Five Things I Never Said/Heard Until OB/GYN:

  1. I get to sleep in until 6 AM tomorrow!
  2. My shoulder is killing me from driving that uterus all day.
  3. I’m about to scrub in on a vaginal hysterectomy. Except she had a total abdominal hysterectomy in 2010.
  4. Ugh, I hate when there are no patients; why are there not more vaginas to examine?
  5. Okay, so now that you’re on two step stools, reach over and hold this retractor with your third hand.

And with that, on to Pediatrics!



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