Ob/Gyn – 今までの話

Checking in 2/3rds of the way through my Ob/Gyn rotation wasn’t how I’d planned to chronicle it but time has really flown by me in the past month. It started out with a harrowing adventure down the atlantic coast that my (dad’s) heretofore trusty Volvo* wasn’t able to complete but after that initial excitement, things have settled into a very comfortable routine. I’m assigned to Dr. P, a sometimes-intimidating yet very personable ob/gyn originally from Cuba. In addition to his private practice, he is also affiliated with Palmetto General Hospital in Hialeah, so I’ve been exposed to ob/gyn in both the office and hospital settings. There are also weekly ob/gyn lectures at the Center for Haitian Studies’ medical clinic, most of which have been given by the delightful Dr. C, who makes even the Kreb cycle seem magical. While I haven’t had the opportunity to actually deliver any babies myself, I’ve seen over a dozen deliveries (and got to scrub in on two c-sections), a few D&Cs, probably a hundred pap smears and even a circumcision! One of my classmates mentioned that ob/gyn in Miami was awesome and based on the past month, I must concur with his assessment. It has been pretty cool.**

I’ve always thought that if I couldn’t be involved in pediatrics, ob/gyn would be the next best choice – I could be content with delivering babies and even performing pap smears for a living. However, if this rotation has taught me anything, it’s that true love does exist, and my heart is unwaveringly, steadfastly committed. It never fails – every time we’re in the OR for a delivery, I’m with Dr. P right up until he makes the incision into the uterus. During the third trimester, the uterus receives 600 mL of blood per minute*** and once it’s open, all that blood starts gushing out and things look pretty serious. At that point, the neonatologist steps up, ready to take the baby as soon as it comes out and once it does, nothing else can hold my attention, not the potential hemorrhage, not even the placenta, which also must be removed to complete the delivery. If I’m not scrubbed in and suctioning, I’m gazing at the neonatologist with such a yearning that I can almost feel it, like tendrils reaching out, seeking to absorb something that might make me more like what I wish to be. Sometimes, I try to get close and observe everything I can, from the examination of the baby to the note the neonatologist writes. Usually, they’re in and out with the baby in 10 minutes, and it is only after they’re gone that I go back to watching the suturing. I always feel a little guilty, like I’m out on a date and ogling someone else. Even though I always leave with ob/gyn, I find myself thinking about the neonatologist that went away…

Despite all that, I am enjoying this rotation and am a little sad that there are only two weeks left of it. I’ve yet to perform a pap smear myself (I usually just assist and observe) and I was hoping to get the chance, but I’m not sure Dr. P’s patients would be comfortable with a student doing the exam and Dr. P is very mindful of his patients’ concerns. Still, I have learned a lot, both by watching Dr. P (who also loves to pimp) and from Drs. C and J at CHS. There’s a shelf exam on the last day so I will probably spend the next couple of weeks preparing for it and now that I finally have all my cores scheduled, I’m thinking ahead to 2012****. In the meantime, however, I’ll be soaking up all the experience (and sun!) I can while I’m still with Dr. P. Let’s hope I get to see a few more deliveries before I head back to NY…

*a ’94 volvo. My brother made a joke about being old and coming to Florida…

**except for the weather,which has been gloriously warm.

***500 mL of which are going to the placenta

****more on this in an upcoming post

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