Now normally I am not a fan about learning the differences between the somatic, autonomic, and visceral nerve supply to muscles, but I have to admit, knowing the practical applications for managing labor pain has made this memorization a bit more interesting. I am sure it is because I love procedural skills and can't wait to do my first nerve block, epidural, lumbar puncture, and perineal repair. I started thinking about all the hands on work that OB/GYN's do and then having thoughts that were alien to me until now ..."obstetrics? maybe?"
Truthfully, back in the days when I was an annoyingly-militant-vegan-self-righteous-naive-hippie I seriously considered midwifery (not to say that midwives are those things, I am just elaborating on a phase I went through in my early twenties). I even took my doula training and looked into various programs across the country in midwifery. The only thing that really held me back from pursing this career was the fact that Canada has some
Fast forward to medical school where I continued to reject the Western approach to birth, until very recently.
"I have always wanted to be a part of this event in people's lives. Even when it is cold, dark, and in the middle of the night I love to get up and head to the hospital knowing that this is what I get to be involved in. When the babies start looking the same and I am not thrilled to be there, I am going to quit. But right now, I feel nothing but privilege for being invited to take part in this pivotal moment in people's lives".
She apologized for how hokey it sounded but I felt that it was quite lovely, to hear someone speak so passionately and honestly about their career choice. I suppose it is what we are all striving for when we choose our future specialty, what are we passionate about? Am I going to love living in the O.R, or intubating patients in a helicopter, or prescribing chemotherapy regimes? It is so hard to know at this stage having only seen as sliver of the health care system. But when you hear someone speak from the heart, and they clearly do love their job, it makes you wonder...could I love constantly being sprayed with amniotic fluid and having only female patients for the rest of my life?
OB/GYN Pros: OB/GYN Cons:
-lots of healthy patients -on call, forever and ever, amen
-plenty of hands-on procedures -bodily fluid exposure extravaganza
-O.R from time to time -bad outcomes are very bad
-emergency situations* -only female pts
-many good outcomes -continuity of care
-continuity of care -highly litigious
-many happy/excited patients -crazy women with 5 page birth plans
-immediate results -having patient load
-the whole 'miracle of birth' thing -the training
If nothing else, I am trying to keep my mind open to the possibility of areas that I hadn't considered. I know how most medical students start rocking in the fetal position (pun intended) when you mention their OB/GYN rotation but...who knows? Maybe I will be one of the lucky ones and will actually enjoy labor and delivery!
Or maybe I'll just end up with countless pages of blog fodder.
Either way, win!
*I know that sounds twisted...but I am wired to enjoy emergencies for some reason. I blame my mother for not breast feeding me long enough. (Hi Mom!)