August Reflections


So here we are, nearing the end of August 2014. Remind me again how we got here? It’s cliché, I know, but it doesn’t feel like January was that long ago. Yet here I am, nearly two thirds of the way through my first year of internship, and everything before this has felt like a bit of a blur. I keep feeling like I’m waiting for this year to get started, to get into it. Seems a bit late now, all things considered. I suppose I should be pleased that this year is moving at such a rapid pace, as internship is reported to be the worst period of a doctor’s working career. I just hate the feeling of time running away with me, of not having enough time to achieve what I would like…

But nevertheless, since we are here I might as well reflect on my last few months spent in obstetrics and gynaecology. As interns we rotate through various specialities, spending four months in each. It is assumed that in that time we will learn enough in each discipline to become competent doctors when we finally finish our two years of training.

I must confess that I haven’t particularly enjoyed this block of obs and gynae (and not for the reasons you might think!). For one, your patient demographic is relatively small. You only see women. The age range is quite small. And patients present with quite a specific cluster of problems: they wish to fall pregnant, they are currently pregnant or there is something wrong with their pregnancy. Obviously this is an oversimplification, but you catch my drift.

There is something else though, and in all honesty it’s probably something I’ll have to deal throughout internship. This block has exposed me to patients with severe social issues, and given the frequency that they occur I know it’s simply a representation of our population as a whole. It’s so scary for me to see women younger than me (some not even 20) who have two or more children already. Even worse are the girls of 13, 14 and 15 who are coming to the hospital to have babies. Am I that naive to be surprised that children (because that’s what they are) are already having sex? Although one always considers the more sinister option too. And it makes you think of the sort of circumstances these young women and their new babies are going home to. It’s desperate, but frustrating too because what can I do to change  what is happening? And after a long shift where you’ve been on your feet for 24 hours, you barely have enough energy for yourself, never mind enough to change the world!

This block hasn’t been all doom and gloom though. I’ve done nine caesarian sections by myself (interns are required to do ten as part of our training) and that feeling you get when you deliver a little human into the world is like none other. It still amazes me every day that  babies can come out so normal, when so much can go wrong.

I start my next block on the 1st of September-internal medicine. Look out for a later post where I discuss internship as a whole, as well as my journey through medicine.

Thank you for stopping by ❤

G xxx


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