OBGYN Rant..

Eugh. Okay I am very frustrated at the moment. This rotation has been less than ideal. I’m not sure why this run out of all the others I have been through thus far is annoying me, but it just is. And it’s also one of the shorter rotations. (5 weeks as opposed to the gruelling and usual 6). But into week 4, I am well and truly over it and would like to move on.

Why, you may ask. Well we could be here for days. But it is a realisation I have come to having spent my sick day off, pouring over online resources, the “highly recommended” textbook, notes from presentations my colleagues had put together, and my own feeble attempts at taking notes over the last 3 weeks, trying to put something together in my head for my osce (observed clinical exam – or something like that) next week. And all they have is contradicting info! Eugh!!

And remember, I’m sick. So much so that I have taken a day off from hospital which is usually a big no-no for me. I hate being absent. So this should be a pretty good indication of how bad I’m actually feeling. But having said that, I have tried to make my day very productive because the only thing that offers a better motivation to study over the motivation to sleep the day away to recover from an illness, is STRESS. And I’ve got a lot of it right now. So here is a list of things I dislike about this run:

  1. There are too many screaming women around. (And I’m not talking only about the pregnant women). Not a day has passed on this run where I’ve not heard a consultant/registrar/house officer use a string of colourful words to describe the uselessness of another health professional (nurse/GP referral/anaesthetists not showing up/ surgeons hogging theatres/ private obstetricians strutting about as though they own the hospital and the rest of the staff serve them) and then breathe deeply in and out a couple of times before telling each other to calm down….. -_-  Jeez why so much negativity la?
  2.  The freaking abbreviations on every page of every note of every piece of paper ever written on. Goddamn the APHs, PPH, TAH, IUA, TOA, OP, AP, NBF, EBM, etc etc etc. Why am I spending most of my time staring at notes with a train of abbreviations instead of words and trying to figure out what the HECK the last doctor even had to say about this patient. Doesn’t anyone write in words anymore? I remember parents yelling at kids for the overuse of text language. Though I have never been fully guilty of this, I understand their frustration now.
  3. Then there’s surgery. During which you are pretty much part of the wallpaper. I don’t know what to do with myself. The general surgeons were frankly more friendly during theatre than the obstetricians/gynaecologists. I don’t learn anything and basically just trying hard not to fall asleep. (Have to be subtle about this, I have learnt. People are apparently very quick to assume you are asleep even if you’re just tired or thinking really hard about life. >__>)
  4. The male consultants who seem very aloof and cold towards patients. I kind of mentioned the whole male/female dynamic in this specialty right? Well it’s rather obvious with the male consultants. They almost seem bored with their job. It’s like they chose this specialty just to prove a point. To prove their dominance. Again, it might just be the consultants on my team, but I sat through the most cringe-worthy situation where a male consultant told a woman she had endometrial cancer in the coldest way possible. In one sentence. “Yes Mrs. X come in, we’ve received the referral from your GP that your last smear was abnormal. The results have come. You have endometrial cancer.” Verbatim.
    He then sat in his chair, said nothing for 2 minutes straight while the woman cried. Before finally adding “I’m sorry about that” in the most un-sorry way imaginable. It was beyond frustrating and extremely useless. Obviously I couldn’t get up and comfort the woman, though I wanted to, very much. Sigh.
  5. Pregnancy is a mess. Scarred for life by all the bizarre things that happen to the body of a pregnant woman. Why do women do this to themselves?
  6. The tutorials… I feel stupid. I dislike feeling dumb and stupid. In a room full of “colleagues” and someone who I desperately want to think differently of me, I just feel stupid. And it does NOT help when the consultant who is supposed to teach, asks you a question, purely to “catch you out”. And ofourse, being me, I fell for it. I just don’t see what she was gaining from that. But I guess it’s my fault. I should not have let myself be “caught out”.

Whew. Well, as you can see, studying has made me very frustrated. But in the interest of not making this post too one-sided, I shall attempt to mention some positive things about this run.

The doctors are good. Like really good. Their diagnostic skills are amazing. And there is so much I’m able to learn from them. A registrar saw a patient and diagnosed one of the rarest phenomena in pregnancy. “Pregnancy- related intercostal neuralgia”. Never heard of it, purely clinical diagnosis, she called it, treated it, and fixed the young, pregnant woman and sent her home in 24 hours. This after several other specialties had diagnosed her with gall bladder disease.

The patients appreciate. Big time. It’s a sensitive subject. The problems are both horribly difficult to talk about, but also extremely horribly difficult to live with. And if you’re understanding, and make them feel comfortable, and fix them, their happiness and relief, is worth it.

And with that, I return to osce study.

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