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The Differential

What I Learned on an OB/GYN Rotation

Vincent Migliaccio Michaelson, Medical Student, 06:43PM Jan 31, 2018

O&Med School of Medicine

I recently started a rotation in OB/GYN. I have actually spent some time in this specialty before, and my experience was similar. One of my OB/GYN experiences was in a developing nation. However, I would like to focus more on the dynamics and the doctor-patient relationship. The purpose here is to focus on what can be changed and improved, as well as to hear the stories of the countries from which the readers come. 

I will simply show snapshots of different scenarios of experiences within gynecology, at least in the public setting. In my first rotation some time ago, I was in shock from the reality of the health care system. Three to four women were often crammed into consulting rooms, with little privacy. This did not include the nurses, the two doctors, and the three or four medical students in the room. This violates all kinds of ethical principals, and in the end, quality of care was affected. In the end, patient outcomes are affected. The ones who suffer the most are the patients and their families.

Here's an example: A young female patient (lower socioeconomic and educational status) presented to the emergency department due to vaginal discharge and bleeding. Alarmed, she decided to get what she thought would be a "simple check-up, just in case." The doctors on call at the time looked at the ultrasound and said "This requires an abortion." No other words were used to help smooth over that news. The doctor in the same sentence began explaining that she had to take misoprostol and how much she should take. Right there, the patient broke down and starting crying. The doctor simply said "That is what you have to do. Next patient please."

This is crude example but also the unfortunate reality for patients who cannot afford better care. I ask myself, where is the humanity in that? It is these types of behaviors that increase infant and maternal mortality rates. There are limited resources, and it is difficult for everyone. However, I would like for this new generation of doctors to be different with their patients. To treat all of them with dignity. Let us be human before we are doctors, and let us be patients before we begin treating. Let us understand what are doing and be the change medicine needs.

Leave comments below with any experience that you have had in OB/GYN. What went well? What could be improved?

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Medical school and residency can be a stressful, demanding time. These medical students share their insights and experiences, good and bad, in order to create a community of support and understanding for medical students everywhere.

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