Sometimes I’m not the nicest. Sometimes I don’t say “thank you” or “please”. Sometimes I seem gruff or insensitive. Sometimes my tone does not put you at ease.
It’s not because I disrespect you. I value our interactions each and every day. It’s not because I don’t like you. Some of it is just the way I was trained. Continue reading Nurse Respect: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician
“I start my first clinical clerkship in medical school tomorrow. Any last minute advice?”
I stared at the text message from my cousin as I rolled my first patient of the day back to the operating room. I chuckled to myself.
Continue reading Advice to my medical student self…
The hand stretched out towards me and I looked at it solemnly.
“Will you pray with us, Doctor,” her mother asked.
I was at a loss for words or an appropriate response.
The day prior I had received the lab test. Her baby was 99% certain to have the devastating diagnosis of Trisomy 18, or Edwards Syndrome. It is an unfortunate condition in which a child is severely mentally retarded and typically does not live beyond the first year of life. Continue reading Prayer and Medicine: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician
“I don’t know what to DO with you, so I’m just going to treat you like a resident,” I hear the OB doc say to our newly minted midwife.
My toes curl and I am searching the white walls of the hospital for a rock to crawl under. The midwife is trying to hold onto her best poker face and fight back the tears from coming out. She knows that shedding a tear would admit defeat. I suddenly feel a bit sad for the fact that we had placed her in a facility that was devoid of midwifery for the past 15 years.
“I can do it,” she said proudly during her interview. “I know it will take time and we will have to move slow, but I am up to the challenge.”
Continue reading Midwife Mecca: Reflections of a Physician Leader
What is excellence?
I guess the first question we should ask ourselves is, why excellence?
If mediocrity is the acceptable norm, why strive for excellence?
If excellence slows you down in the operating room and makes you less efficient, why excellence?
Continue reading Excellence: Reflections of a Physician Leader
I am an OB/GYN physician and…
I am a former VBAC denier. VBAC stands for Vaginal Birth After Cesarean. It’s something we are supposed to offer and push our patients to consider. I want to do the right thing. But, I’m conflicted, confused and wary. Let me explain.
VBAC was all the rage in the 80’s and 90’s, until a slew of research articles, committee opinions and studies demonstrated the risks. The brakes were applied and the birth centers offering VBAC decreased. The cesarean section rate soared and more studies revealed the accumulated risks of performing multiple cesarean sections on patients. Recently, the pendulum has swung back to the VBAC corner. Continue reading VBAC Rehab: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician
I am an OB/GYN physician and…
I love midwives. In fact, I think MIDWIVES ROCK. Midwives deliver over 50% of the babies in our birth unit. When it comes to normal birth, they are the experts. Let me explain.
As OB/GYN physicians, we endure a very extreme four-year residency training program. We learn how to deliver babies in the most intense environments and difficult situations. We take care of very sick women while they are pregnant. We learn the art of intervention. We fix things. We come to the rescue. We save the day. We have many tools – vacuum, forceps, versions, cesarean. If things aren’t going well, we can make it better. Continue reading Midwives Rock: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician
“Should I freeze my eggs?” My 33 year-old single sister asks me.
It’s a burning question for the childless thirty-something. She’s calculating it all in her head. If I met someone tomorrow, I won’t be 35 until we are ready for children and that’s advanced maternal age.…
Advanced maternal age. Say it once or twice. I know. Offensive. Insulting. God-forbid. We need a new term. Maybe “delayed motherhood” or “mature mothering”?
Her biological clock is ticking. I can almost hear it buzzing from within. She’s in the prime of her career in the fashion industry. Constantly on the go, travelling between Los Angeles and New York. Certainly not a lifestyle conducive to motherhood.
“It isn’t fair,” she says.
Continue reading Break Free From the Biological Clock: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician
“I just don’t understand, Doctor, I don’t have any desire to have sex with my husband anymore. Not since the baby was born. Do you think it’s my hormones?…”
I want to reach out and give my patient a hug and invite her for a Sunday brunch with heavy mimosas and a group of like women. I want to reassure her that nothing is wrong with her. This is normal and common. A story told regularly inside the confines of my exam rooms. So many women, young and old struggle with this problem.
Instead, I begin to ask questions about frequency, lubrication, sleep, painful intercourse, masturbation and relationship satisfaction. I take my notes and sigh to myself. How can I help? Continue reading Where’s my orgasm?