Saturday, October 7, 2017

Shadowing an OBGYN

In high school, I volunteered at a local hospital and worked at a pharmacy. I encountered Dr Fran at both these places and she always stood out among the other healthcare professionals. She was never too busy to say hello or interact with patients' families. So when it came time to shadow some physicians for my DHSS class, I knew it would be amazing to shadow her.

She graciously made time in her busy schedule for me to shadow her at the hospital and then at the clinic. Dr Fran is an OB-GYN, and I didn't really know much about obstetrics save what I watched on Call the Midwife, but she was so good at explaining things that I really learned a lot. An OB-GYN's scope of practice can be broken into two broad groups: obstetrics, which includes pregnancy, labor and delivery, and post-partum, and gynecology. Gynecology focuses on women's bodies and reproductive health. This could include issues such as endometriosis or painful intercourse. They see patients both in clinics and at hospitals.
Image result for call the midwife
Call the Midwife!

I can't tell too much about the cases I got to observe for HIPPA reasons, but they were all very diverse and interesting cases. I observed an ultrasound during which a lady learned the gender of her baby- super exciting! There was also a pregnant mother with syndactyly, or webbed fingers, a diabetic mother to be, and several post-partum checkups on teenage mothers. I saw pap tests, ultrasounds, and general check-ups. At the hospital I observed a dilation and cutlage, a uterine scrape for polyps. The diabetic mother was a really interesting case as I remembered watching an episode about it on Call the Midwife, and we've been learning about protein in urine in class.

Dr Fran treated each patient with dignity and friendliness, even when the patients weren't always respectful or nice. One teenaged patient played with her phone the entire time, ignored the doctor's questions, and seemed to not care. To be honest, this would have rattled me as a physician, but Dr Fran handled the situation well, giving the directions instead to the patient's mother and writing them out so they couldn't be ignored. I learned nearly as much about patient care as I did obstetrics! I also got to see the 'behind the scenes' and paperwork side of things. Overall, it was a great experience. I am so grateful to Dr Fran for her kindness in letting me shadow and being so willing to answer my questions. She couldn't have been any nicer and I learned so much!


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