0900-0930: Zoom Orientation
0930-1030: Electronic Medical Record Orientation
1100-1130: Badge Pick-up
Those were essentially the instructions I was given today (with some details omitted). I wasn’t sure exactly what time I was supposed to show up to clinic nor did I know how long I was supposed to be there. All I knew was “PM.” I assumed that meant after a lunch hour from 1200-1300, but I just headed to the clinic ASAP after grabbing my badge (and after scarfing down a pad thai). I got to the clinic right around 1200 hundred and turns out everyone was indeed out on lunch break and my attending would be back at 1300. So, I decided to use the rest of the hour to check out what is around this even smaller town adjacent to were I’m currently staying. I found a cute little coffee shop, met a barista who just moved back to the area from LA, sat down with an iced americano and listed to my OB/GYN podcast.
I was a little anxious to meet my attending because I was told earlier that day by someone who works with him that she affectionately calls him Dr. Grumpy. But I was also excited because most everyone I’ve talked to who has something to say about him said he was a good teacher.
I got back to the clinic a little before 1:00 to make sure I wasn’t late and hopefully get there before my attending, which I did. I sat in the waiting room and chatted a bit with an LVN and MA there to get a quick crash course on the operations of the break room. Everything in the middle of the table is up for grabs, got it. Just as I was about to grab a slice of communal pizza, a new MA came to the doorway and told me that my attending was back at the clinic. I wiped the trail of saliva from my chin, re-dawned my mask and followed the MA to meet the man who would decide my fate for this rotation.
First impression confirmed some of my fears. He kinda took a look at me, sizing me up, and read my name badge with minimal enthusiasm, “Victoria”
“What are you?” He paused for an answer. I assumed he was asking about my ethnicity, “Flip?*”
“Yup” I chuckled.
“Your last name gives it away.”
He went on to ask if I had any interest in the field, and I told him I was keeping an open mind, which he may have thought was a bullshit answer (which is reasonable, since I’m guessing a lot of students who come through say that and don’t really mean it just ’cause they want to make a good [ok neutral] first impression), and said that he’s not going to make me do anything I don’t want to do. That some students come through just to get through the rotation and that’s it. I told him that I would try to take advantage of this opportunity as much as possible, but he didn’t seem convinced.
We started seeing patients and I quickly started getting a feel for the flow of the clinic. It was fast, but systematic and organized. By the second patient he was already expecting me to measure fundal heights and measure fetal heart rates without being told. Greet patient, gloves, fundal height, doppler, paper towel, help patient up, deglove. Attending talks to patient, yadda yadda (important yaddas), send the patient on her way, little charting, pull up next chart, see next patient.
I thought overall it was a good way to start the rotation. I got to see a variety of stuff (though mostly OB), was able to get a bit more comfortable with the whole situation, and I felt like I was doing something as part of the team, as basic as it was.
As the day went on, it definitely felt like my attending was warming up to me… or maybe I was just getting used to his sense of humor. We bonded over his recent trip to my hometown, and I answered a couple pimping questions right (and some wrong) which probably helped. He opened up an email I sent the day before in which I said I was excited for this rotation in Visalia. “You have low standards,” he teased.
“I’m from Santa Barbara, LA is too busy for me,” which he seemed satisfied with. I liked working with him though, and it seemed like he had a strong rapport with all of his patients.
The afternoon flew by, and I got sent home with some homework to learn some stuff that he’s going ask me about tomorrow. I’m still holding out hope though that I’m gonna get a call about a delivery before then.
Back at home I made a mushroom, tomato, salad, quesadilla and started on some of that homework. I washed up then went out to a nearby park for a quick workout while listening to more of the podcast. Came back, made a quick pork and beans, and mushroom and tomato dinner (I had a lot of leftover stuff from a barbeque I hosted over the weekend) and did a bit more studying.
Tomorrow is going to be my first full day. I’m not really sure what I expected coming into this rotation, but so far I’m having a blast and I’m looking forward to what tomorrow brings.
*If you look up flip in Urban Dictionary it’ll tell you it’s derogatory/ a slur. I’ve never known it to be used in this way, nor has any Filipino I’ve talked to about it. Just thought I’d make that clear before anyone gets up in arms about it.