Tag Archives: obs and gynae

Looming Deadlines

I’d had wonderful plans for this SSM. I’ve not got a proper obs and gynae block until last thing in fifth year, and, although my SSM is supposed to be in gynae oncology, the timetable is really not too terribly busy and I had all these grand ideas that I’d try to at least see some of the routine gynae and go to an antenatal clinic and maybe try to get into a delivery. I thought that it might make me less likely to panic come next January. Of course, I’ve done none of those things and now find myself with a week to go and hand-in dates approaching. My flatmate and I had made all sorts of promises to ourselves about getting work done on Monday night, but between the snow and the twinkly twinkly lights that turned into making hot chocolate and watching The Holiday. It may not have been the most productive way to spend an evening, but it made us almost stupidly happy.

All good things must pause, though, and this weekend is time to knuckle down. I’m a quarter of the way into my first case report (of three), have nine journal articles on vulval carcinoma open on my laptop, and a scribble-covered notepad on my desk.

It’s not like I’ve never written 6000+ words in six days before…

Now playing: Glenn Close – With One Look from Sunset Boulevard

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Posted by on December 4, 2010 in Blog, Medicine


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For my junior elective, I’ve come to a remote hospital in the Highlands and Islands. I’d originally planned to do four weeks of general medicine, but, after a collective realisation by the medical students and the junior doctors that there were four students assigned to general medicine and none to anywhere else, we quietly decided to rotate ourselves around the hospital.

I’ve been temporarily adopted by the FY2 in obs and gynae.

Yesterday, I spent the whole morning in theatre. I was allowed to retract things (my arms still don’t quite feel like they belong to me), and later to hold clamps and cut sutures. I think that watching a Caesarean is pretty much the coolest thing I’ve ever seen in my whole life.

Or, as I put it to my mum via email: “I held stuff and felt things, and then he cut other things, and then there was a baby!”

Yes, I sometimes revert to being an eight-year-old.

This week, we’ve got a locum gynaecologist who seems to be a very enthusiastic teacher. So, although it would have been a really cool experience on its own merits, the FY2 and I were effectively getting a five hour gynae tutorial as well. He explained everything that he was doing and why it was important. He made sure that we knew what we were seeing, and, when we were inhaling coffee between operations, he drew out the reproductive anatomy and showed us how the pathologies we’d just seen were different from the normal. I was able to spend a few hours last night with the gynae chapter of the Oxford Handbook of Clinical Specialties, which is one of the two books that I bothered to pack — he’d made me want to go away and read about the anatomy of the female reproductive system. And I loathe reproductive medicine, so that’s an achievement by anybody’s standards.

I think the other important thing that I learned yesterday was that theatre is exhausting. In the afternoon, I went to the maternity ward to check on the C-section baby and was overwhelmed by the urge to sit down on the floor just because it was the closest thing.

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Posted by on July 7, 2010 in Blog, Medicine


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