This post has been very much awaited by many, I know. It has taken me so long to write because of so many thing that I could write a post just about that. Anyway my motto is always better late than never, so here it goes, my overview of the ObGyn Clerkship.
Let’s get one thing put of the way, my dream was and still is to become an Obstetrician and Gynecologist in the next few years. Finding out that my first clerkship was going to be ObGyn took me my surprise and had me freaking out for a good solid hour. After I cried, hyperventilated, and vented with my best friends, I managed to calm down and embrace it. After all, they were right, with my previous shadowing experiences and involvement in activities I had enough knowledge to do well on this clerkship. So 3 days later I woke up at 6:30am and marched to the hospital where we went to the morning report and had our orientation afterwards.
Our clerkship consists of 2 blocks of 4 weeks each where we rotate with 1 attending each. My first attending was a male doctor and he is amazing in every aspect. From day 1 we established a good connection and he is one of those doctors that love to teach, so I got the chance to learn and ease my way into the whole ordeal that is clerkships. I think it was a great transition to have him as he allowed me to see the first few days just to get the hang of things and then I was on my own. As for patient care I love the way he practices his profession, he is very empathetic, establishes good rapport, does a lot of education, and always has his patient as a priority. He is also an amazing surgeon and very detail oriented when it comes to surgery and procedures.
After those first 4 weeks we changed attending and I got to rotate with one of the directors of our local residency program who is a very inspiring woman. She is the definition of a boss lady and a badass doctor at that. She is one of the busiest obstetricians around, having about or over 40 births per month. At first I was very nervous to have her as my attending, especially having heard she is one of the toughest evaluators of the department. This did not stop me from trying my hardest and giving this rotation my all. With long hours, sometimes 8 am to 11 pm, about 40-50 patients a day, and about 10 births a week I have to say it was an exhausting month, but I was the happiest person in the world. I learned so much more than I could’ve imagined and it definitely confirmed that this is what I can see myself doing, even when the hours are long and the patient load is huge. She is also a badass surgeon whose ability for laparoscopic surgery blew my mind. Definitely a role model and a woman in medicine worthy of recognition.
Just to give you an idea, I dislocated my jaw ( I have TMJ which caused constant clicking of my jaw) during the office hours one Tuesday and spent the whole day in the labor and delivery ward with the laboring patients, and I even got to be in 4 births that day. I got home and I was tired but accomplished and happy. Needless to say, in the end I got a excellent evaluation and the Dr agreed to draft up a recommendation letter for me.
As for memorable moments, I have several of the same type, basically patients talking to me and thanking me for being there for the during their labor and delivery. What do I do? Well, patient experience and comfort are an essential part for me as a future physician, and I detest the idea that we (medical community as a whole) sometimes treat pregnant patients like sick, contagious, emotionless things, when they are the complete opposite.
A laboring woman is the most amazing thing I have ever seen, in their most powerful yet vulnerable moment, and gearing up to one of the best moments in their lives. For me the least I can do is offer her my hand and serve as a figure of support and encouragement for when they feel like giving up. To some of my colleagues, I am setting myself up to be hurt and overstepping, but not 1 of my patients wanted me to leave their side, and they were all more than incredibly grateful, even after being discharged. I have encountered several outside the hospital, and they always thank me for being there. And this is the most rewarding thing I will ever feel.
As for the shelf, this is a crazy subject. Shelf week was hell week. I had about 3-4 patients begging me to stay with them through their delivery, the power went out on Wednesday for the whole island (that meant no power, no water, no electricity, no cellphone, no internet) and the school did not plan to postpone the exam. So trying to take advantage of the light hours I tried to finish the Case Files and read my weakest subjects on the Blueprints. I got internet back during the evening of Thursday, day before the shelf, and I managed to do all the UWorld questions. I also read Master the Boards the Sunday before the shelf, and this has become my ritual.
Originally I intended to do ObGyn and Surgery in the same post but this proved to be longer that I thought. At least that means, more posts coming soon!
Did you love or hate your ObGyn clerkships? What was your favorite experience?