Scutmonkey Chronicles

Commentary on healthcare in general, life as a medical student, and issues of concern thereof. Readers warmly encouraged to contribute their "best" and "worst" experiences with the healthcare system (who knows, some budding young doctor might learn something from your pain...?) Submit via comments section, or email me at oarlock@gmail.com if you'd like to become a regular contributor. Welcome, and don't forget to double-glove!

Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Room, With Materials...

Ob/Gyn, week two of four. Not what I want to do, but pretty darned interesting. Some of the things I've learned, in no particular order:

1. Shoe covers exist for a reason, especially in the delivery room.

2. Every woman who delivers a baby deserves the equivelent of the Purple Heart.

3. Observeration #2 not withstanding, it's a bad sign if the mother-to-be watches "Nickelodeon" or "Divorce Court" through the delivery.

Spent three days this week shadowing a Reproductive Endocrinologist. What that specialty boils down to is assisting infertile couples in conceiving. Although heavily reliant on technology, this is as much art as science.

You can probably imagine the level of emotion involved in these interactions and the people skills needed to deal with the feelings that come into play for the patients and their partners. One definite up-side here is that the patients are a highly motivated group, a much different demographic than the "can't afford the ultrasound but can't give up the cigarettes" crowd the typical obstetrician is confronted with.

The guy I was following has a big following, evidenced in large part by the number of his patients who are doctors or nurses themselves. One of the ways he builds confidence in his practice is to recruit really top-notch staff. Another is an immaculately decorated office: expensive furniture; expensive prints on the walls; not a speck of dust in sight. Which, in part, explains an overriding and morbid curiousity I developed during the week...

At a certain point during every consult, the good doctor delves into the particulars of providing a sperm sample. Being the astute and tactful gentleman he is, all of this is couched in very subtle language, leading up to mention of a certain "Room, with Materials." Nestled into my thousand-dollar chair, I'd have to bite my lip at the mental image of a porn-corner in the walls of this fine, fine office.

No self-respecting med student could have left the practice without at least attempting to get a glimpse at the Room. The problem: being the classy facility it was, there was no sign tacked up to divulge its location. Which would neccessitate skulking around the office when the halls looked empty, opening every door, excuse at the ready in case I was discovered. (Porn room? Gosh no...I was looking for paperclips.) Not so subtle...

I never did find the Room. Not that I tried all that hard. Maybe it's better that way.

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