“As a mom and a doctor, what advice would you give a third year medical student trying to choose a specialty?” the bright-eyed med student asked me.
Her smile was ear to ear and I didn’t want to burst her bubble. This is a complicated question to ask and the answers change as life changes. I chose OBGYN because it was the only specialty I truly fell in love with. For me, there was no other option. I knew that residency was going to be rough. I knew that life after residency would still be hard. As a determined, energetic and idealistic young woman I told myself – this is my destiny!
Continue reading Finding the Balance in a Life in Medicine
I can’t claim to have authored this most hysterical satire on birth plans, but I will say that the person who did write it is one of the most compassionate and capable physicians I know – in addition to being extremely midwife, doula, hypno-birth and birth plan friendly. She just recently had a baby and wanted to poke a little fun at the whole process and arrived on the labor unit with this birth plan in hand. The nurses had to do a double-take before they realized it was all in good fun.
Dr. Roast’s Birth Plan
Pain Control: We are opposed to torture. However, we believe that labor is not truly painful, and therefore plan on using a butterfly and fairy based hypnosis performed by my husband during times that are more “intense”.
Continue reading The Roasted Birth Plan
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
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
Th e truth is … I am a victim of Lactation Fanaticism.
I get it. Baby friendly. Breast is best. Nursing is bonding. It’s supposed to be easy and natural, right?
I’ve seen the data. Yes, I support breastfeeding. I support breastfeeding to a fault. Let me explain. Continue reading Lactation Fanaticism: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician
“I want you to be there when I have my baby…”
The words sting every time I hear them. The guilt flows like a broken dam and pulls at my heartstrings, making me feel so heavy inside…
But, I can’t make that promise. I can’t make that commitment.
Why? I probably shouldn’t explain to my patient the real reason. Continue reading “But, I want YOU to deliver my baby ….”