Saturday, November 12, 2011

OB/GYN shadowing

I started taking advantage of the OB/GYN mentorship program last week, shadowing a local OB/GYN for a morning in clinic. In three hours, Dr. A saw five or six patients at her group practice, and six or seven patients at a prenatal clinic linked to the FQHC I wrote about last week. Miraculously, she didn't seem rushed!

She was full of energy, she cared about the patients and spoke at their level, although she was by habit brief. The best part was, she allowed me to palpate some women's abdomens to feel babies' heads and buttocks! (She now believes I can find fundal heights, which is laughable.) Then, she started to let me use the fetal heart doppler. By noon, I was finally getting used to placing the transducer on the patient and hearing the (other patient's) rapid heartbeat!

One of the first things Dr. A asked me was where I was from and where I went to school. Hearing that I went to a Catholic college, she surprised me by praising the Church for working for the poor in healthcare throughout history. This was followed by a brief comment about how she was not "down with" some of the other things the Catholic Church does. I could tell by her wall decor that she was liberal (the Obama '08 sticker removed most of my doubt), later that morning she lauded Clinton, and told a NP and I that she is on the board of Planned Parenthood in the largest city nearby. (PP is eating all my mentors.)

I have no concluding thesis or thought from this experience, except that the degree to which pro-choice stuff soaks our culture is confusing. (She measures heartbeats but approves abortions?) It was, however, nice to shadow an OB/GYN. I like what I saw (and did!) a lot. I hope I can find a place where I can be tolerated, and I wonder whether I need to find a mentor who isn't pro-choice.

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