Repro, I spite thee

NOTE:  I wrote this in a melodramatic rage.  Judge it as such.

So we’re smack dab in the middle of reproduction and urology block and I’m more convinced than ever that Ob/Gyne is just not for me.  I immensely admire the poor souls that would put themselves through that stuff… but give me nausea and vomiting over pain and vaginal bleeding any day.  I’ve prepared a short and sweet list of reasons why you can keep your babies and genitalia to yourself, thanks very much:

1.  You learn twice the material.

Okay, so that’s not entirely true.  We’re going to be stuck on pregnancy for an eternity and a half, but for now, there’s literally twice the amount of material to know.  Twice the histology, twice the developmental, twice the anatomy, twice the physiology, twice the radiology…

You get the idea.

2.  Everything’s GD complicated.

This is entirely true.  Anybody who’s had a look at the pelvic floor will tell you, it’s more incomprehensible than teenage, angsty, vampire “love” (read: necrophilia) stories.  And don’t even get me started on abnormal uterine bleeding.  As one lecturer astutely noticed, “All gynecological problems present with pain or bleeding.  Or pain and bleeding.”

3.  Childbirth got along just fine without doctors.

Matter of opinion, really.  But it is true, it’s one of those (I’m loath to say it…) Natural Life Events that we’ve medicalized the hell out of.  The human race has been reproducing for thousands of years without hospitals, epidurals, or Leopold’s maneuvers.  Not to say that all of those things aren’t great and have saved a lot of lives, but it does seem a bit silly that we have an entire branch of medicine that usually just involves playing catcher.

4.  Babies are icky.

Yeah, yeah, boo, hiss.  But anyone who says different isn’t fooling anybody.  They’re whiny, entirely irrational, smelly, loud, inconsolable… and YES – THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME.  Once they hit toddler years, sure.  They start looking like proper people and not little tubby sausages.  Okay, okay, so I’m being facetious.  But seriously.  Don’t ask me to look at your little fledgling and tell you whether it looks more like mom or dad.  Because saying either of them looks like a tubby sausage isn’t particularly kind.

5.  Ob/Gyne call sucks.

Nuff said.

6.  You will deal with hormonally-challenged, pregnant women.

Nuff said also.

7.  You will learn things you never, ever wanted to.

Because sometimes, people get carried away with that bottle of beer.

8.  Not every pregnant woman that wants to becomes a mom.

From what I’ve learned from some women, it can be such a huge, traumatizing experience for them to miscarry or have a still birth.  Especially when there’s multiple miscarriages.  Some of them start to wonder, “What’s wrong with me?  What am I doing wrong?”  It’s really heartbreaking.  And sure, everybody’s going to deal with cancer and disease and death, but there’s something extra sad about losing that little life, already so loved and never having lived.

9.  Ladies hate Pap tests.

You bet your bottom dollar.  Just briefly browsing the interwebz, I found about a gazillion horror stories, most of which actually made me cringe a little.  Seems like many of them transfer that white-hot hatred onto their gyne, and the last thing I want to do is be the victim of an exam-induced hurricane of fury.

And finally

10.  I’d miss everything else.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s some repro stuff I find absolutely fascinating, like molar pregnancies and the resulting choriocarcinoma that can crop up sometimes.  But I’d miss pneumothoraces.  So much.  And what would I do without appendicitis?  What about endocarditis?  Or hyperthyroidism?

That probably sounds weirder than I intended.

True fact, though.  These disease processes are incredibly interesting, and that’s a big part of what drives me to learn more about everything I see.  As I said to a friend, I’ll bet there isn’t a single person in health care who does their job well solely because they want to better humanity. (Regardless of what we said in our interviews.) We’re all intensely interested in what we’re learning and the ways the human body can surprise us.  We also like helping people.  But we wouldn’t work 100+ hours a week, be on call 1 in 2, or trade a night out for studying for that.  We love what we learn, who we are, and what we do.

And we also want to Make the World a Better Place.

World peace and all that jazz, rah rah rah.


Happy Soon-to-Be-Hallowe’en!

 – Atalanta



Filed under Medicine

5 responses to “Repro, I spite thee

  1. Lindsay Canham

    Excellent read my good friend.
    We in Genetics like to call “fledglings” F1s 🙂 That is what I’m going to call my kids when it happens.

    I totally know what you mean about disease being cool. While I deal more with the molecular mechanisms of disease as opposed to the clinical signs, I think it is still similar.
    Fragile X Syndrome, or Huntigton’s Disease, or Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy is SO INSANELY COOL! Like the fact that it happens and molecularly how it happens just blew my mind when I learned it and I still get giddy thinking about it.
    Obviously having the disease is a little (understatement) less cool. haha

  2. I love love love Repro and Ob/Gyn, but it’s not for everyone.

    I disagree that childbirth got along “just fine” without doctors. While there are circumstances I believe patients should use their discretion about how to deliver their babies (whether at home, in a birthing center or in a hospital), child birth did not always mean a natural event that was generally without complication. Maternal death is a huge cause of premature death in undeveloped countries and there are MANY conditions associated with pregnancy that require patients to be in the care of a doctor who can provide life-saving care. The C-Section rate in this country in unacceptable and births that are low-risk and uncomplicated can definitely go just fine without a physician present, but that doesn’t include all births by any means.

    Ob/Gyn is SO much more than playing catcher. There is so much more to reproduction and birth than the actual delivery and I don’t think I realized just how comprehensive it was until I started my Ob/Gyn rotation.

    Paps may be unenjoyable to many patients, but after seeing a radical hysterectomy on a very young patient secondary to invasive cervical cancer from foregoing yearly exams you start to realize how awesome it is to be in the position to prevent that kind of heartbreak. And, honestly, they aren’t that bad. If you’ve never had one they’re TERRIFYING, but after you go through the process (both of GETTING one and DOING one) it become a non-issue. Enjoyable? No. But neither is a flu shot.

    Anyway, I totally respect you’re desire to avoid Ob/Gyn, it’s not a specialty I ever thought I’d fall in love with. However, this post totally minimizes the huge job these people have. They work hard and they deserve more credit than you give them. Hopefully you’ll go through you Ob/Gyn rotation and at least get a glimpse that what they do is so much more than sit around and wait for women to push out their babies (a process I totally agree they are fully capable of doing without the help of modern medicine).

    Not to mention – what’s cooler than working in the ONLY place in the hospital your patient ever WANTS to be? Sure, they don’t all want to be there – but it’s honestly the only place you’ll ever find a patient excited to be visiting.

    • All good points. And I should mention I wrote this while studying for a rather horrible repro test, so the angstiness of the whole thing corresponds to the amount of hair I pulled out of my head. 😉

      And fear not, I don’t bash Ob/Gyne exclusively or out of mean-spiritedness! Every specialty’s got a laundry list a mile long of things I can poke fun at… And I do mean it in good fun. Because without an Ob/Gyne, I probably wouldn’t have made it as a neonate (I was a 2 on the Apgar scale for the first few hours). Guess my odd sense of humour doesn’t really translate well, eh?

  3. No – girl, totally get your humor and annoyance. I feel equally about some other specialties, trust me lol! And believe me, I totally get the wanting to take a baseball bat to certain subjects in the midst of studying feeling. 😉

    Just felt the need to point out some of my reasons for loving Ob/Gyn as I work through my rotation…one I honestly expected to really hate. 🙂

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