Day 1 of OB/GYN is in the books!

… and I’m 1/56th done with pelvic exams for the rest of my life.

In all seriousness, I had a lot of fun today in clinic even though i was mostly (13/15 patients) just shadowing. I still will be happy to have pelvic and breast exams as distant memories, but as far as clinic days go, today was pretty decent. Here’s why:

1. You’re the specialist. Today we wrote zero referrals. Imaging (u/s) and diagnostics (BPP, tracings, ) were done in the office. Patients were either given clinic follow-ups or told to go to L&D or the ER, and they were sent there for a medical (not medico-legal) reason.

2. A realistic scope of preventative care. One of the things that was really frustrating about primary care was that there are SO many preventative measures you should really be counselling people on, ranging from gun safety (unless you live in FL …) to bike helmets. In OB/GYN, the preventative care is pretty intrinsically related to the core tasks you perform: calcium and Vit D, periodic Pap and Mammo/CBE, prenatal vitamins, and so on.

3. Seemingly simple scope of practice that is actually incredibly complex. Much like endocrine (my first love in medicine), OB/GYN complaints can affect every system and every part of the body. Bone, breast, reproductive organs and pregnancy … wow, that covers a lot of territory. I mean sure, you’re not seeing men, but the fairer sex certainly have the more complicated bits.

4. Procedures combined with cognitive tasks. During today’s clinic we did some very basic office procedures, and all of the OB/GYNs are on the University Hospital staff and help cover the L&D floors. Sure, all of the procedures involve organ systems that I’m not super excited about, but it is nice to be working with your hands as well as your brain. And, there is a relatively high cognitive workload: interpreting tests, counseling patients (pregnant moms want to know eeeeeeeeeverything sometimes).

5. High stakes. You’re dealing with life (hopefully) and death (hopefully not) situations – almost every patient is facing at least a possible pregnancy or cancer.

6. You get to see them smile. I know after some of the posts I’ve written I probably seem like a callous a-hole, but I think one of the coolest things that we saw in clinic today were patients who had every child delivered by this practice. You get to help bring life into the world, and patients don’t forget that. The low-risk OB visits were particularly warm and fuzzy. Unlike any other medicine I’ve ever seen.

Anyhow, that’s more than enough from day 1. Holler at me (a.k.a leave a comment) if you have any questions, oh mighty and noble readers.



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