It has been quite an interesting week so far…and my time throughout Ob/Gyn is only going to get even more interesting.
Orientation for this rotation was about four days long and I had my first clinic day on Friday afternoon. Although each day during orientation was long and packed with information and modules, I found myself really engaged in everything that I was learning and I was very appreciative of the modules and workshops/simulations that we participated in. However, these long days have forced me to play a balancing act with keeping up with my outside studying, since I only have six weeks (now five 😭) to prepare for my upcoming shelf exam. As a matter of fact, I'm already feeling a bit crunched for time, especially since a lot of the material that I'm studying is new to me…but on the bright side, I don't have to cover anywhere near as much information as I had to cover in the broad clerkship of Internal Medicine!
Like I just said, we were able to participate in some very informative modules, simulations and workshops during our time in orientation. These great learning opportunities included a cervix dilation and effacement palpation activity with plastic models, vaginal delivery simulations with plastic models, videos on incontinence, uterine & cervical cancer, bimanual & breast exams on some more plastic models, tying surgical knots, stitching a wound on pig feet, and performing a very thorough pelvic & breast exam on an actual person who was specially trained to help coach aspiring health professionals in performing these exams (this was quite a strange experience, but she was very good at keeping the atmosphere light and also made sure that none of us felt awkward about performing our exams! I learned so much from this particular activity!)
The hands-on approach of these learning opportunities made the information stick with me so much better than if I had to learn it all by simply reading a textbook. It also gave me more confidence (not a lot though) in performing breast and pelvic exams, exams that I'll be having to perform on actual patients very, very soon.
My experience in an outpatient Ob/Gyn clinic on Friday afternoon was pretty chill overall. I had a fantastic attending who had patients that absolutely loved him, and whose appointments consisted mainly of quick prenatal checkups and pap smears. I was given multiple opportunities to use a doppler fetal monitor to listen for fetal heartbeats, which was a pretty neat experience! I interacted with patients who ranged from being early on in their first pregnancy to being about a couple of weeks from giving birth to their third child. The emotions emitted by all of the mothers I interacted with were fascinating and mainly consisted of excitement, concern and joy of having the blessed opportunity to give this world another human being. One other thing that gave me pause while at the clinic was the number of women around my age or younger who were pregnant with their second or third child. Unlike in high school where having a baby as a teenager was viewed in a stigmatizing manner, I'm at the age where starting a family is actually pretty common and widely viewed as normal. However even with that said, I couldn't even begin to imagine becoming a father right now. I definitely couldn't handle being completely responsible for another human being at this stage in my life, let alone financially afford it. It has always been intriguing to see how different the lives of others who are around my age are from my own, and I'm sure that this observation will only continue to get even more intriguing as I grow older. Interacting with these young patients also reminded me of just how much older I'm becoming. With my 24th birthday coming up next week, I'll officially be in my mid-20s. That's preeeeetty bewildering to me. It means that I really have to seriously think about some of the critical details concerning my future, because it's no longer some distant time period that I can deal with later. Now is the “later” that I've been telling myself for years. Gulp.
Well like I said earlier, I've been feeling a bit crunched for time lately, so I'm going to end this post now. I got videos to watch, questions to answer, text to read, and a week of outpatient care to prepare for. Sigh. Thankfully, my girl visited me this weekend and has made my weekend work more bearable! 😄
Make sure to have a stellar week!
“Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't.” – Rikki Rogers
– Black Man, M.D.