Friday, December 18, 2009

Reflections on OBGYN

Just finished the last day of the rotation. I was pleasantly surprised. I thought that I would find absolutely no interest in it, but really, it wasn't what I expected. It is a field that encompasses a wide range of patient populations and covers almost every other branch of medicine. My favorite part was OB. First, from a purely scientific point of view, what happens to human physiology during pregnancy is simply amazing. When looking at an obstetric patient, you might as well forget normal physiology and normal lab values that you learned in internal medicine (for example, the white blood cell count, which is normally below 10,000, with a really bad infection being 20,000, can go up to 30,000 during normal labor). Then there is labor and delivery. It's something that is nice most of the time, but every once in a while it gets very scary and very sad. It's the one time that people are hospitalized for something that is completely normal and the expected outcome is not to make them better, but to make sure nothing goes wrong. Delivering babies is pretty fun, but watching the emotions of the people in the room affected me more. There are some interesting social dynamics in the delivery rooms also (like the patient who wasn't sure who the father was and was waiting until she saw the skin color of the baby before giving her a last name or the woman at 43 1/2 weeks gestation who refuses any medical intervention). Overall, each patient is completely different and OBGYN is a branch of medicine that combines the solving-a-mystery aspect of internal medicine with the get-in-there-and-fix-it aspect of surgery. No, I don't want to go into it, but I definitely had a lot of fun in the last 6 weeks.

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