Friday, September 21, 2007

Rotation's End

This is my first attempt at actually posting, so here's hoping that it works!

Today I finished my second rotation of the year, OB-GYN. The highlight was definitely my second delivery, which went very smoothly and was actually a woman I knew, which made it even more exciting. I was able to stay with her for a long time while she pushed (the residents don't usually have that luxury), and then do the delivery, and it was an amazing experience!

The whole rotation was six weeks, and I spent three weeks on labor & delivery, one week in gynecologic surgery, and two weeks in outpatient obstetrics and gynecology. L&D was the most intense part of the rotation: I stayed overnight every fourth day, participated in vaginal deliveries and c-sections, and helped triage some pregnant patients who presented to the hospital with various concerns.

I was dreading my surgery week because I generally prefer my patients nice and awake so that I can talk to them, but I ended up being on a great team with a very kind consultant and residents who were willing to answer questions and teach. It was very busy, with 7 surgeries one day and 9 the other, and packed clinic days in between. I mainly saw hysterectomies, both open abdominal ones (a great chance to review some anatomy) and vaginal ones. My main job in surgery was to hold retractors, suction, and sometimes close the skin on the incision. I got to do some suturing after c-sections on L&D, as well. All in all, my running subcuticular stitch, which started out at a snail-like speed, approached tortoise-like by the end of the rotation.

These last two weeks have been in the outpatient clinic. Most days I had a half-day in OB and a half-day in GYN. In OB, I did lots of fundal height measurements and finding of fetal heart tones, and got some more experience with the ultrasound machine. There is nothing like giving a couple the first glimpse of their baby! In GYN, it was all about chasing down that elusive cervix as I practiced the speculum exam...

So, overall, a great rotation. I would really like to do OB as part of family practice. This rotation also confirmed some things that make family practice a good fit for me: I really thrive on variety, I absolutely love continuity of care (seeing patients at multiple visits or over a long period of time makes me much happier than just one-and-done), and there is really no desire in me to do surgery, as cool as it is.

Today we had our national "shelf" exam in the morning. Everyone who was on a core rotation this block took this at the same time, so it was a nice chance to see some classmates...we've really been scattered to the four winds since clinicals started on July 1. Then I had a brief oral exam this afternoon.

I have already returned my OB-GYN review and question books to the library and taken out the set that I will need for my neurology rotation, which starts on Monday. It lasts 3 weeks, and I'm looking forward to it since I loved my neuro courses in the first two years. I'm planning on a little reviewing over the weekend, as I've got to see a patient first thing on Monday morning and am expected to do a decent approximation of the neuro history and physical exam, which can take up to two hours! I will apparently get to learn how to properly use the fancy-schmancy tuning fork and$100 reflex hammer that I just signed out from the library.

Happy weekend!

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