Finding the Balance in a Life in Medicine

“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!

Destiny?

Continue reading Finding the Balance in a Life in Medicine

The Roasted Birth Plan

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

Prayer and Medicine: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician

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.

Pray?

 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

VBAC Rehab: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician

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

Midwives Rock: Confessions of an OB/GYN Physician

midwifeI 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