Thursday, September 03, 2009

Cool....and not so cool.

Every day in the office is a day to hear something new. In OB/Gyn, the work is pretty much the same, wherever you go (at least in the US). Annual exams are annual exams. Prenatal visits are pretty standard. Common problems are approached in much the same way in one office as another. The patients are the ones that make it different, interesting, and even, sometimes, really fun.

I am still getting acclimated to the new group setting. It is a little strange to work within a group dynamic when you are used to essentially a solo practice. You have to give up some control (difficult for a control freak). It is much harder to know the patients well and remember every detail about their history, and it is also challenging to work within the boundaries of other physicians' comfort levels. Before, any call that I made...testing, induction, observation, only had direct bearing on the patient and on me. Now, I have to consider group gestalt. I am getting there, and the time off is well worth the trade-offs thus far.

I am seeing quite a different patient population in Newville, a bit more urban and sophisticated. Ways in which this is cool...

~The patients are well educated, they are aware of their bodies and have done a lot of research into pregnancy and what is happening in each trimester. I rarely am telling them things they did not already know. Makes my job a bit easier.

~The happiness! I got to see a woman, coming in for a regular annual exam with an incidental finding of a positive pregnancy test. She was ecstatic. Her husband feigned needing a glass of water and hyperventilating. The cuteness was killing me. (I am used to tears and hysterics over an unplanned pregnancy!)

~The responsibility. These patients are amazingly compliant, and hold their and their baby's health in high regard. There are very few smokers, and I have yet to see Mountain Dew in a toddler's bottle. Unbelievable.

Ways in which this is not cool...

~The, um, "sophistication." I have met several young women for their first exams (17-21 years old), who qualify their number of partners as "really low." However, when pressed further for ballpark numbers, they toss out a number like, oh, 10-12. (!!!) Whoa.

~The bossiness. Never have I been instructed on how to treat a patient for a certain condition so often. Sheaves of information printed from the internet. "Drive-through" attempts at obtaining treatment. Sorry, honey, this isn't Bur.ger and you cannot "have it your way!" Yikes.

~The nonchalance. I kid you not, I had a woman that texted on her phone throughout her entire annual exam. Breast exam, pap, and pelvic. Holy cow! I wanted to know what she was texting..."now my breasts are being checked. Now the speculum is going in?" "Pap smears suck?" WTF?

All in all, I am settling in nicely here in Newville, and I am so happy to be back to loving my job once again. That being said, I am gearing up for my first full weekend of call (and a full moon to boot). Since I've not had a weekend call since July, we'll see how sunny I am come Monday. I wish you all the happiest of Labor Day weekends! Thanks for not giving up on this blog!