Monday, September 5, 2011

Compartmentalization

By Mister Curie

My OB/GYN rotation is half over.  I've delivered several babies, learned to do the pelvic exam, diagnosed STDs, counseled on birth control, and been privy to intensely intrusive experiences that patients grant their doctors, particularly in OB/GYN.  The rotation has its ups and downs.  I'm learning a lot and it is exciting how much we are able to do to improve the health of our patients.  On the other hand, there is a certain messiness inherent to OB/GYN work that is just nasty and I don't think I'll be seeking a career in OB/GYN.

Despite ongoing efforts to decompartmentalize my life, this rotation seems to be reinforcing a certain amount of compartmentalization.  I'm out at a rural health center where I stay in the nursing dorms during the week and then come back to the city on the weekends for classroom instruction.  When I am out at the hospital, I have essentially no family responsibilities and its like I'm a single student in undergrad again.  When I come back to the city I try to spend time with the family and I'm so busy with household responsibilities that I hardly have time to study.  It's great to have so much study time out at the hospital so I don't feel too stressed without study time over the weekends, but I have this odd feeling of compartmentalization to my life.  At the hospital I'm granted extremely intrusive access to patients (such as being part of a team of three doctors shoved between the legs of an anesthetized woman performing a vaginal hysterectomy) and then there is this entirely different life at home.  I think easing back into clinics with this away rotation has probably been the best way to get back into my clinical rotations, but there will need to be additional work at reintegrating my life during the next rotations, when I will be at the local hospital and living at home during the rotation.

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