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Jul 23, 2010

My Turn

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’ve spent the last two months on OB rotations and I’ve been so busy trying to impress everyone with my work ethic and winning personality and vast (seeming) knowledge and it is exhausting.

Also, there is a great, dark cloud hanging over my head. You probably remember THE MATCH. I wrote and wrote and worried and worried about it when Patrick went through it and now it is my turn. Surviving the interview process and actually matching into what you want to do, not to mention where you want to do it, is something of a right of passage among the physician community. My father still visibly shudders when I talk about it, and it was several decades ago for him.

After two months, I finally know that I want to be and obstetrician gynecologist when I grow up. Earlier in the year I did not have that level of confidence and considered pediatrics (to be a hospitalist or perhaps critical care doctor) and internal medicine (to do a women’s health fellowship afterwards) but, in the end, I don’t really want to do anything else. OB/GYN is a hard road and life afterward training isn’t all that much easier. But I will spend my days and nights bringing babies into the world, holding women’s hands as they experience life’s best and worst moments, and helping people to create families.

While I was once worried about devoting enough time to my family, it now feels that it is my devotion to my family that inspires me to this profession. If I didn’t know so intimately how scared new mothers are, or how painful childbirth is, or how life changing being a parent can be, I don’t know that I would feel so strongly about this choice. Sure, catching babies is fun. Being in the OR is cool. Getting to dig up in other ladies’ business is less fun, but it is also an honor. But the real excitement for me is seeing that look that women get that says, “Get out of my way. There is a baby coming. Now. Stand there and don’t let it hit the floor.” Being present and participating in the birth of a family is an experience like no other. What else could compare to that?

Patrick does not share this view. He had something of a crush on his OB attending as a third year med student and maintains to this day that she was the only good thing about the rotation. He finds the whole process indecent and entirely too smelly for any civilized human being. Not that I love ruining my shoes, but it is exactly this visceral, life affirming aspect of OB that weeds out those with too weak a stomach.

It has been a lifelong philosophy of mine to never regret anything. I find it to be tiresome and a waste of energy to focus on what other choices would have resulted in. I can’t help but hope that, when all is said and done, this is not a choice I would have made differently.

4 Readers rock!:

Kimberly said...

I stumbled upon your blog from facebook. I just want you to know that I'd really like you to be my OB-GYN in the future. Let's work on that :) I'm proud of you for following your dreams and I know you are going to be an amazing doctor. Your patients will love you. Hope to run in to you sometime soon!
Kimberly Van Elk (Matchett)

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine a more perfect person to do the job. With your caring, compassion and expertise, you will rock the ob gyn world like you did opera!!!


XE said...

Good luck Katie!! I'll have my fingers crossed for you.

Long Family Chronicles said...

You will be awesome!! And if you are matched with Clarian and working at the Meth-lab (AKA MH) as mom says it -- I PROMISE she and all her posse will be very nice to you as a resident!! :)