“I had an ultrasound yesterday…”

I have been spending a lot of time in the clinic lately, which means one thing: lots of patient calls. The latest trend goes something like this: Patient sees me in clinic. I order an ultrasound (or other test) for a non-urgent concern (mostly for heavy or irregular periods). I schedule a follow-up visit for a few days to a

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The patient history, demystified

In the first six months of my intern year, I gained some valuable insights into the patient history. Medical students, wow your attendings by translating these common patient phrases into their actual medical meanings! Things that don’t mean what you think they mean: “I have thyroid problems” –> I’ve gained weight recently Follow-up questions: What medication do you take for that?

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Going nowhere fast

One of my attending physicians is fond of saying that most physician errors are not errors in treatment, but errors in diagnosis. The patient is getting the right treatment for the presumed diagnosis, but the diagnosis is incorrect. It doesn’t do much good to treat a febrile patient for pneumonia if they actually have pyelonephritis. This creates a big challenge in

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Med Students: How to Annoy an OB/GYN Resident

I have recently realized how much of a difference it makes when the student working with me on L&D does a good job. I get third year students for a week at a time, so there isn’t much opportunity to “train” them. I have had two students this year who have functioned almost like mini-interns. We talked in my last post

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Boundaries

On a more philosophical note today, I recently had a very uncomfortable experience with the mother of a young patient. The patient was 16 and presented to my office complaining of heavy and painful periods. She was missing school because she leaked through her pads in class and was afraid it would happen again. Her mother kept her home 2-3 days

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“I can see that you’re busy – I’ll come back later.”

I had a very interesting interaction with a patient today. I was down on the postpartum floor consenting a patient for a postpartum tubal ligation, when a different patient’s nurse flagged me down. The patient had just been brought down from labor and delivery after delivering twins vaginally. She asked her nurse for narcotic pain medication, which I do not

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Do you want to hold her?

Today I had a truly special experience. I am finishing my eighth straight week on labor and delivery – six weeks of nights, and now I am finishing week two of six weeks of days. A certain very memorable patient ended up in triage at least once or twice a week. She had a lot of medical problems and there was

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Med Students: How to Win Over an OB/GYN Resident

Every resident knows it: some students double your workload while others reduce it significantly. As a student, why should you care? Because the faster you help your residents get their work done, the more time they will have to teach you. The residents know what’s on your shelf exam, and Step 2. Help them out and they may just help you

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A day in the life

Sometimes, people ask me what it’s like to be an OB/GYN resident. Well, here is an idea of what a typical night shift looks like: half a dozen patient calls (mostly from people who are having round ligament pain, or who peed on themselves when they sneezed and now they think their water broke) three patients in triage with the complaints

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Happy Holidays 2015

It’s that time again – time to spend long hours at work eating way too much food, trying to be festive. You see, holidays (all holidays) are weird on the labor and delivery floor. Take Thanksgiving, for example. This year, I saw three patients during my 14-hour night shift. One was a patient from our antepartum unit and was being

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