Friday, May 15, 2009

Tough Stuff

If I still have an interest in OB/GYN by the end of this rotation, it must be meant to be. Today was probably the toughest day of my (very short) medical career. It was my very first vaginal delivery. Yes, after an entire week on a very busy labor deck, I had yet to see a vaginal delivery that did not involve forceps. Lots of cesarean sections, not a lot of your normal births. So you would think this would be a big exciting moment. But, on said first delivery, the baby died. After just spending my last week on oncology, I thought this week would be so much more up beat and exciting. However, there have been 3, countem, 3 dead babies this week. And a multitude of other bad situations. This was such an anomolous week, the head of the OBGyn department footed the bill for a nice lunch for all the residents and students on service, about 8 of us, and talked to us for about an hour about all the great things that so often happen in this field and why he feels it is the best field there is. It was really nice of him to do that, and much appreciated by everyone, but certainly by me. I have always known that regardless of what field in medicine you go into there are horrible low points. But keep in mind, this is my very first clinical rotation of medical school, and it's been full of badness. My first ultrasound I looked at was a confirmed miscarraige. The first big surgery I was scrubbed for took 9 hours and involved a much more advanced cancer than the patient was aware of, causing her to wake up from anesthesia with no spleen and a colostomy bag. It has not been an easy rotation. To say the least. If it weren't for J I would be a puddle of sadness on the floor by now. It does put your problems in perspective. At least there's that.

I am on OB nights next week, and I"m cautiously optimistic. I can't let myself believe anymore that it will be nothing but exciting and fun. I don't think any part of medicine is that. Sometime this week the rose colored glasses fell off and I stepped on 'em. But I keep going in, because I've tried other things, and nothing else makes me want to come back for more. For now, I"ll enjoy my awesomely understanding husband and my tired and affectionate pups and just enjoy the fact that I am home for the weekend. Sunday night is the farthest thing from my mind.


medicine girl said...

I'm curious, were the 3 dead babies from high risk pregnancies? Were the deaths largely unexpected?

Good luck sticking with it if it's right for you! Consider scheduling an elective OB rotation (minus the onc) to see a little more of the joy that can come with the field! My OB rotation was more sunshine & roses than not, even when I include my time on Maternal Fetal Medicine, which brought a few sad cases. My school's OB rotation prompted at least 10% of my class to plan for OB/Gyn residencies.