A few days before the start date, my current rotation was switched from Surgery in Bend, OR to Women’s Health in Portland. I had been mentally preparing myself for rigors of the OR – brushing up on anatomy, thinking through the steps of a cholecystectomy, reviewing sterile technique. When I found out I would be heading to an OB/GYN clinic, I felt a bit nervous.
Open wounds, blood, ventilators – these are all elements of medicine I have become familiar with from my previous work, and ones that would facilitate a transition into the OR. Pregnant women, speculums, sensitive gynecologic issues? It’s true – I am a gal, but a gal with very little experience in these things! That certainly changed…
My days have been filled with obstetric visits, annual gynecologic exams, problem-oriented visits, as well as OR time. I am much more aware of the unique health needs of women. I am developing diagnostic intuition and learning the current standards of practice in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Formerly a weird metal thing, I now see the speculum as a vital preventative and diagnostic medical tool.
I never would have predicted how much I’ve changed over the past several weeks. I was never the person to coo at babies or revel in the wonders of pregnancy, but my perspective has definitely evolved throughout this rotation. Right now I feel less like a student, a 26 year-old, or an East Coaster…and more like a woman (my ToDo list begs to differ!). During my time at the clinic I have met some truly amazing providers and staff who work hard to provide holistic care for women. I am motivated to make Women’s Health a focus of my future work – whether that means within the context of primary care or as a broader population-based initiative. I look forward to coming rotations, and all the learning opportunities they hold. Next up – Emergency Medicine!