Allow me to sum up the collective emotions of my class: OH GOD ROTATIONS START IN TWO DAYS AND YAAAAAAAAAAAAH. 

Last week I found out that I passed my final exam of first year, making me an official second-year student and “ready for the hospital.” I am not. The exam was apparently designed to test not my sparse knowledge of neurology, but rather to test my ability to avoid getting up in the middle of the essay portion and ramming my head into a wall. As I wrote a few weeks ago, it was such a strange test that I wondered if I spent the middle weeks of the course in a chemically induced coma. If the goal was indeed to test my persistence in the face of irrationality, I passed, and maybe that does make me ready to go on to the wards.

We are ready for the wards. At least, I am ready in the sense that I still possess a white coat, a stethoscope, and someone emailed me the code to get scrubs out of the scrub machine in the hospital (by the way, this is a machine that gives you clothes and then accepts them back from you at the end of the day before giving you a clean pair. It’s the greatest thing ever invented besides Oreos! You know when you go home and take advantage of your mom’s happiness at seeing you to get all your laundry magically done? It’s like that, but ALL THE TIME). I am vaguely aware that my first rotation has something to do with childbirth and placentas, although I don’t know what either of those two things are, and I think I know where I am supposed to go in the morning.

On Tuesday, I am supposed to begin a two-day orientation that includes a two-hour anatomy session on pelvic anatomy. I will not eat that day. Orientation also includes practicing a D&C on a papaya. I will also not eat that day. Or today, for that matter, because I googled “D&C” to figure out what it means. This information represents my entire fund of knowledge about OB/GYN.

On the flip side, here is a substantially abridged list of things I do not know:

  1. What I am supposed to do every day
  2. What “prerounding” is, although I have heard that it is a component of #1 above and that it begins before sunrise
  3. What happens after prerounding
  4. Why anyone thinks this is a good idea
  5. How to do anything
  6. Where babies come from
  7. Where doctors come from
  8. Where women come from
  9. How anyone knows any pelvic anatomy at all
  10. What kind of shoes to wear
  11. What G3P1114 means

This is approximately .01% of things I do not know, just about obstetrics and gynecology. I have purchased many books of unbearable thickness and density that primarily serve to make me feel better about myself, such as Blueprints: Obstetrics and Gynecology. The title makes perfect sense as I do not possess an architecture degree, am spatially disabled, and cannot read a blueprint or even a basic floor plan. Blueprints currently occupies a place of prominence on my kitchen table buried beneath a roll of scotch tape and a pair of scissors.

The effect of this retail therapy is TBD.

I made the tremendous mistake of checking out a resource the upperclassmen update every year. It’s a brief description of what each rotation here is like, tips for success, and a few words on logistics. Included is a sample note a medical student might write. The note begins,

PPD #1 21 yo G1P0 s/p SVD at 37 5/7 weeks. Pregnancy c/b smoking, late PNC

I know that s/p is “status post,” because it’s dumb, and I know c/b is smoking because I am occasionally capable of figuring things out on my own.


After reading this sample note (I will be expected to write something similar in approximately 72 hours) I closed my computer and made instant plans to kick off my second choice career, which is wingsuit piloting, a sport thankfully less dangerous than standing in close proximity to an angry woman in labor. (It involves skydiving from low altitude while wearing an outfit that makes you look like a flying squirrel.)


Final note: I am, however, gloriously thankful that we do not have another half-year or year of classroom-school, like most of my peers at other med schools. We finished a week of “boot camp” last week, which was a lecture-heavy five days of introduction to laboratory medicine. It was (mostly) useful information, but sitting through five hours of lecture each day was a powerful reminder of how horrible sitting through five hours of lectures can be.

(Posts will be far less frequent this year due to extremely long days.)

2 thoughts on “PANIC!

  1. Oh, my first rotation was OB/GYN too. I loved it – not everybody does – but you are going to love the practical side of medicine. I mean, I’m 99,9999999999% sure that you will. Have fun. Eat, damnit. Passing out is embarrassing. My very tall friend passed out on our first day of Obstetrics and knocked me on the head on the way down.

  2. Try to. Relax. I don’t
    Believe you all will be expected to know anything at all this week.blend in ,they won’t even notice you. The teacher is worried about her,his own. Agenda.cant wait to hear love,grandma

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