Four Years Later: A Metamorphosis

Todayย this blog turns four years old. Technically a few minutes to midnight yesterday, but it’s much of a muchness really. Four years ago I wrote about practising speculum exams on sim-dolls in the skills lab. I was so embarrassed to do a bimanual examination on a doll in front of my male classmates. Everything was new and scary and who would have guessed that four years later we would be effortlessly sliding speculae and doing Pap smears and getting ready for the big wide world.

I don’t even know. But it’s funny right.

I remember when I delivered my first baby and on vaginal examination I couldn’t even feel the cervix, much less figure out its dilatation. I remember when I could never find the damn cervix on speculum examination.

Now it almost comes naturally. Sometimes I still have to remind myself how to hold the speculum, because there are so many different techniques, but mostly it is smooth sailing.

They say medicine is always challenging and stimulating, and that is true, but certain parts of medicine become routine and easy with practice, and it keeps despondence at bay. It makes you feel accomplished: maybe I can’t remember that dosage, or maybe I don’t know why this woman is infertile, and maybe my supervisor just crapped on my head, but this thing I can do.

OBGYN? It was my first introduction to clinical skills and now it is my last rotation of med school. I admit the novelty has worn off a bit and it is not one of my favourite rotations, but this I can do: I can screen a woman for cervical lesions. I can teach her the warning signs. I can counsel an infertile couple. I can teach a woman to do breast exams. I can show a new mom how to latch her baby. I can welcome the squealing pinkfoot into the world. I can hold a woman’s hand when she finds out her infant has died in utero.

Every day I discover that I can do more. The metamorphosis happens slowly, but it happens.


  1. Congratulations :p I wish to write a similar (almost) post in two years time!

    1. I’m sure you will, and that you will be great!

  2. Teboho Stena says:

    Awesome! I also want to specialize in OBGYN you know, but I’ve got a very long way to go (I think). Please send me an e-mail here , I need to talk to you about something.

    By the way, I enjoy reading your posts. You’re an amazing writer, doctor ๐Ÿ™‚ , and you inspire me three much. Happy birthday to this blog ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thanks Teboho. I’ll mail you shortly!

  3. So proud of you, always. โค

    1. Thank you, Jackie! I do believe you were one of the first people – if not the first – ever to comment on this little blog ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Peace says:

    Happy anniversary. Please consider keeping your blog after graduation. It has been a pleasure reading it and I love it.

    1. Thank you dear – I certainly do plan on keeping my blog ๐Ÿ˜€ I might post less frequently but I will be here! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Congrats! I was so very thankful to my awesome OBGYN after giving birth- I’m sure you will be awesome.

    1. Thank you Christine! I love hearing about people who had great docs – especially great OBGYNs. It inspires me ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. nisha360 says:

    Congratulations you’ve come a long way ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Wow, I didn’t know you had been blogging for four years! Amazing! I think the best thing about it is definitely being able to see your journey and the progress you’ve made. You have a lot to be proud of ๐Ÿ™‚ Here’s hoping the next four years you grow even more!

    1. Thanks so much Asti ๐Ÿ™‚ I think blogging has been such a lifesaver for me in many ways!

  8. harveylisam says:

    Congrats on four years! That’s awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, I totally agree. All these changes happen to quietly that we don’t even realize how far we’ve come.

    1. Thanks Lisa ๐Ÿ™‚ I want to give every first year med student a journal and tell them to write, even if it is point-form. I think the ability to take cognisance of our progress is immeasurably important.

  9. Splendid. I love reading your med school metamorphosis ๐Ÿ™‚

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