OB/GYN Rotation – Day 25

Started off the day early with a C-section; my last one for a long time… maybe ever. Still didn’t go perfectly smooth. I forgot to grab my tag thingy and then when they reminded me and I spun to tie it, I dropped it. Turned out ok though. The patient, who I had seen before in clinic before was funny. As soon as the baby was out, she goes, “I want another one,” and kept alternating between sobs and laughter. After the surgery I ran home to hop into our Friday morning lecture on a very timely topic: professionalism and abortion. I won’t go too deep into it, but definitely had some thought-provoking conversations.

The lecture wrapped up and then I hit the kitchen. I told the clinic staff I would make lunch for everyone on my last day so I had to get cookin’. I had some food stuff to finish up so it kinda worked out, though I did have to pick up some ingredients from the store. I ended up making sinigang and adobo (and rice of course) and headed out to clinic. On one hand, sharing Filipino food with people who are not familiar is one of my great joys. On the other, I always get nervous when I do ’cause I’m not sure if people will like it. Everyone said it was good, but I feel like that’s just a courtesy thing, but people went back for seconds and some people packed to-go so I’ll take that and not think about it anymore.

Then after lunch was my last patient encounters of the rotation. Nothing too crazy. There was this one first time mother, who we had seen last week for her pregnancy test who came for her first prenatal visit with the father of the baby. They were both super excited which as cute to see, and the mom was funny, similar-ish vibes to the C-section patient from the morning, except she wasn’t on a boatload of pain meds. Once we were through all the patients (of course the last one didn’t want a student in the room as is only fitting) it was time to say goodbyes. Nothing too emotional, but I did want to get a picture with everyone. There were hugs and handshakes and well wishes. They told me to come visit if I was every in the area and I promised that whenever I go back to Sequioa that I would stop by and invite them.

Most of the emotions came as I was walking out that door towards my car for the last time. There weren’t any tears or anything (it was only 5 weeks for Christ’s sake I’m talking like I was there a year), but just the thought of this little adventure coming to an end made finding me way out the parking lot a teeny tiny bit harder.

OB/GYN Rotation – Day 24

I feel like I’ve been kinda saying the same stuff in these especially the last few days, or maybe weeks I’m not really tracking content. But I genuinely starting to get sad about leaving, not that I necessarily want to stay here, but I just the relationships I formed with the people I met here didn’t have to end or at least end so soon or end so definitively. Not sure if any of the people who work at the clinic feel the same, they have students constantly coming in and out, but I like to think I made some kind of impression there. At the end of the day though, I’m happy that I was able to have this experience and to have shared it with the people I did. I am also very excited to start my peds rotation, but also a little scared cause in-patient sounds intense from what people have said.

Tomorrow I have a C-section in the morning, probably my the last birth I’ll get to experience for a while, then some zoom lectures, and then clinic in the afternoon. Then time to say my goodbyes.

OB/GYN Rotation – Day 23

Today was the last day at the second clinic. I never really knew the staff there well ’cause I was only there once a week so leaving wasn’t so sentimental, but there are a couple patients who I had seen consistently for the throughout my time there that I will be sad not to get to follow-up with. I did make my proposition to my attending, but I think the idea didn’t quite get through, so I ended up just seeing some patients on my own. We came full circle though and saw the pessary patient who I saw on the first day.

I left my lunch at home though so I went out to this taco stand and got a couple fish tacos. They were alright. Then I ate my lunch for dinner.

I also just realized I asked for the code to enter through the backdoor of the clinic today, not even thinking about the fact that I would never need it. Oh well.

We finished a bit late today, but we typically have less patients at this site so I still got out earlier that I would at the other clinic. I came home and had a pretty lazy day. There so much stuff I need to work on, I just need better triggers, or anti-triggers so I don’t default to playing games or taking naps as soon as I get home.

Tomorrow is my last full day of clinic. Need to start preparing.

OB/GYN Rotation – Day 22

Some general thoughts on the leaked Supreme Court opinion and debate further below. If you want to have a conversation about it, especially if you disagree with me, I’m happy to engage with an open mind and I hope you’ll do the same.

Ah back in the clinic. It’s routine now, but I still like it. Though today there were a lot more No Student‘s than usual, which is of course understandable and their right, but just a bit disappointing for me. I haven’t asked to see patients on my own because I didn’t want to interrupt the flow, but I think tomorrow, which I probably should have done earlier, I’m going to ask if I can lead the encounters with him there in the room, and then he will add things if needed or answer questions that I don’t know the answer to, etc. We’ll see, I feel like he may have some issues with that, but I gotta try. I only got 2.5 days left.

Another thing that’s been on my mind is the recently leaked Supreme Court opinion that does not bode well for Roe v. Wade. There are so many (mostly upsetting) thoughts that have gone through my head over this. It’s easy for me to assume things about the intentions and motives of people who were happy about the news, but I really do want to do my best to understand where they are coming from. I have yet to hear a convincing argument as to why Roe v Wade should be overturned or why it would be a good thing, but I supposed if you asked the other side, they would say the same in the other direction. Our fundamental understanding of the world is just different and unless we can somehow resolve that, coming to an agreement will be very difficult.

We gotta always try to see each other as human beings first before making judgements about each other’s character based on opinions, feelings, or decisions, or else resolution is doomed from the started. Sure, at a certain point judgement is valid from an individual point of view, but that should be secondary to trying to understand who a person truly is and how they came to be that way.

Anyway, had the leftover chickpea thing for lunch and then picked up some pho from this one place on my list on my way home. It was decent, not blown away, but also well priced. Also, I didn’t mention, yesterday I went to this cafe for coffee during my lunch break and got a blueberry muffin that was really good. The cafe was a nice place, big area and the coffee was also decent. This guy came up to me and he started asking me about what I do (assumed I was some type of surgeon ’cause of my scrubs). I explained myself and he mentioned he was a chaplain at the hospital. It was a pleasant conversation and eventually he went on his way. After he left the girl from the register came by with a chocolate chip cookie that she said was from the chaplain. I ate it after lunch today. I wonder what he thought about the news.

OB/GYN Rotation – Day 21

First day of my last week here. I was back in the hospital, this time in triage. Of the hospital days I’ve had, I probably liked triage the best. It felt the most dynamic, kinda like clinic. People came in, we’d monitor them for a while and then either admit or send home. Also the nurse I was working with was really nice and was able to teach me a lot about how the whole thing operates and then more about the relationship with the other units and the doctors. Also I feel like half the people I’ve met here have a niece or nephew who goes to UCSB. It was a relatively slow day there according to the nurses, despite the fact that they were also using triage to cover for a nurse who left and was typically responsible for performing the non-stress tests. While I wish I could have seen triage working on all cylinders, it was probably for the best so I wouldn’t have to worry about being in the way and the nurses mentioned how they appreciate the quieter days.

When I work with my attending, I always hear him get phone calls from triage where they give him the low-down on a patient and then he gives the ok to discharge or admit. It was cool seeing the other side of it. They even called him a couple times while I was there. On a side note all the nurse I’ve met seem to really like him despite his antics compared with a lot of the other docs which in a way made me a little proud to have him as my attending.

For lunch I had a sandwich that I made at home. I was hoping to go to the cheesesteak place that’s been on my radar after my shift, but turned out it was closed by the time I go out. Next time. Went back to the gym for the first time in maybe a week, and then for dinner I put together this chickpea dish with kale and broccoli in a sauce made up of sweet soy sauce, gochujang, some other spices and bit of the heavy cream I had from the other dish I made. I thought it turned out pretty good. It has a nice savory-sweet-spiciness that itches the umami/ meat craving.

Attached

Sometimes when I write things, I get attached to the way I wrote it the first time. When I go back to edit, I more or less keep the structure and just maybe change out some word choices or try to add in a new idea in a way that doesn’t require me to completely rewrite it in an efficient way. Maybe it’s laziness, or maybe arrogance, or maybe there’s just a particular way that I like things to sound, at least in my head. In any case, here’s to letting go of holding on.

What a Time to be Alive

I feel like I say this kinda a lot. Half as a joke, but also partially in genuine awe of the things we are able to do as conscious beings that happen to be alive during this time period. Today I was back in Sequoia National Park for the second time in the span of 1 week. As we were driving up the winding road up to the top for what in the moment felt like a long time, I couldn’t help but think about how crazy it is that we are able to just go up to this beautiful forest for a day and then come back home. I imagine people way back when taking days or weeks to get up to see the Sequoias, if they even knew they existed. And the trip probably was not all that pleasant. Beyond that we are able to fly across the countries and oceans to see all these amazing parts of the world that were largely unknown to most people anywhere. Of course, embedded in this is also the privilege to be able to do so which should not be taken for granted. Our planet is truly an amazing place.

OBY/GYN Rotation – Day 20

Didactics in the morning, yaaay. Ok today wasn’t so bad. We covered some really important topics around ethics, culture, and biases. Partway through I got a text from my attending saying there would be a C-section right at the time that our Zoom lectures were supposed to end. I told him I would be there. I switched my Zoom presence from my desktop to my phone and made my way to the hospital. Luckily the last lecture ended a little early, so I did have to miss any content.

When I got to the hospital I rushed to the C-sec room. I put on a bouffant cap (not a beard cover like last time) on my head and went into the lobby of the operating area. No sign of the doc. I looked around, probably with a look of panic, to see the surgical techs chillin by the desk. I asked if he had come by yet. Of course not. So I went over to Labor & Delivery, where he most likely was. Just as I entered the unit I saw him fast walking in his Mr. Bean-esque way down the hallway and I hurried after him. I caught him just before we entered the room of the patient about to have the surgery. After a quick check-in we Bean-ed our way back to the main area of L&D to work on some of his notes until it was time for the surgery. He gave me his excuse for why he didn’t call me yesterday for the C-section, saying it was emergent and the patient had to be rushed to the OR, which made me feel a bit better (selfishly).

Once he got called for the surgery, we headed back to the C-section operating room. This was my now my 3rd time actually scrubbing in and I was determined to get to the patient’s side without a hitch. I did pretty good. I knew what I was doing, even if they felt like they had to walk me through it, but it was good on their part cause of course I’m by no means an expert at this point. I felt a little more comfortable in the sterile operating area, but still was more of an observer. This one was a little more complicated than the first one I saw, but more or less went very smoothly. It’s still crazy how something so intense and amazing is so casual and normal for the people involved. We literally cut open this lady’s belly and pulled out baby, and then sewed her back up in less than 30 minutes. Oh and she was awake and conscious the whole time.

Anyway, afterward we headed back out to the clinic and finished up the day.

After clinic I met up with my roommate and we hit up a couple breweries and spots I’ve been wanting to try. We got into this decently interesting conversation with the owner of one of the bars about the area and his plans for the some of the other downtown properties that he has.

Overall was a good, eventful day. I’m just excited to go to bed.

OB/GYN Rotation – Day 19

Sometimes I wonder if it’s a test. Today after clinic we went to the hospital to check on a patient in labor. Looked like it was going to be while, so my attending suggested I go home and he’ll call me when it’s time to deliver. I agree and then hours later nothing. Then I find out the delivery is over. This isn’t the first time this has happened as you may know if you’ve been reading these. So I wonder sometimes if he’s testing me to see if I would stick around to wait for the delivery. I’m pretty sure he went to the gym or something after he sent me home, so maybe it’s all in my head. Or other stuff happens where I’m like maybe I’m supposed to assert myself more. Anyways when I left the hospital, I emphasized with him to call me or at least text because I really wanted to be there. Nada. Next time for sure though I’m just going to hang around and wait ’cause that’s probably the only way I’ll get to see more stuff. Or maybe he doesn’t have confidence in me and doesn’t want me to be there. That’s also a concern that crosses my mind.

Whatever the case, I won’t let it stop me, just gotta keep on pushing to get more experience, and maybe try to spend a bit more of my downtime preparing for the big stuff.

Today for dinner I had some adobo that Mom brought when they visited last weekend. It was very good and a much-needed taste of home.

OB/GYN Rotation – Day 18

The days really feel like they just go by so fast. Part of it could be that the days are relatively short/ flexible compared to other jobs I’ve had, but only by maybe 2 or 3 hours on the shortest days. The days I spent in the hospital shadowing on the other hand at times felt much longer. And then even on the days where I spent hours after clinic in the hospital it never felt like I was doing busy work or tedious work.

Yet when I come home there’s still so much to do, a lot of which feels like tedium. Whether it be studying or doing research or whatever. These things are important for me to be able to actually be able to be a doctor at some point, but it’s all just so unrewarding in the moment.

Today I got to see a lot of patients who I’ve seen in the past sometime from the first week to last week. It’s nice to be there for the follow-up and a little heart-warming when they say they remember me, though it’s probably not hard to forget the awkward med student from just the other week, or they are just saying so.

As I go a long in my medical career, I hope I don’t develop the cynicism that I often see in medicine. It’s easy for healthcare providers to recognize patterns among their patients and which creates certain expectations as far as outcomes, patient adherence, patient perspectives, and attitudes. It’s natural. It’s what we do as humans. We recognize patterns and think and act accordingly.

I’m speaking very generally, but I’m just saying, when it comes to helping patients reach their health and life goals, I can approach each individual situation with a genuine optimism for success.