Real Medicine

A Week in the Working World

Things that happened in my first full week of work (I was stationed in Gynaecology Outpatients’ Department):

1. I had a mini-freakout every morning. Am I competent? I’m going to be late! What should I wear?

2. I got to work on time every morning, fully clothed.

3. I prescribed lots and lots of drugs and did not get called for clarification by the pharmacy once. I know it will happen at some point, but I am glad it has not happened yet.

4. I felt like I was spending too much time with pen and paper and too little time with my patients. Honestly, if I could dictate or type notes I could see so many more patients a day!

5. My patient turnover got a little better every day. As a student I thought I was pretty fast at seeing patients, but now that I’m responsible for everything (administrative bull as well as actually keeping them alive included) it takes a while longer.

6. Referred some patients that definitely did not have Gynaecological problems. Unless you consider the possession of a vagina/uterus/female genotype to be a problem.

7. Admitted a patient for ovarian torsion who actually had a ruptured appendix. Even the sonographer thought it was a torsion, so I guess it couldn’t be helped. Either way she got her surgery, just her surgeons had to swap midway through the operation.

8. Admitted a patient who not only had a (confirmed) ruptured ectopic pregnancy, but also a nearly-ruptured appendix when we opened her up.

9. I did tonnes and tonnes of Pap smears…

10. …and tonnes and tonnes of reassuring patients that I really don’t mind that they hadn’t shaved “down there” and that no, they really could not come back tomorrow after they had shaved.

11. Health education. This probably contributes to my (lack of) speed when seeing patients, but I was just appalled at how few knew how to do a breast exam and how few know that there are better options than the injection or pill for contraception.

12. I learned how to evacuate a uterus of retained products of conception. It’s a pretty messy procedure

13. I worked late to ensure that nobody would be sent home without medical care (we have a strict policy: once you are done with your work, you find somewhere else, like Antenatal Clinic, and help out there).

14. I befriended the nurses and in turn they have been incredibly helpful.

15. EVERYONE WAS SO NICE. It has been incredible how kind everyone has been in helping us find our footing.

That’s one week of 104 weeks of Internship done. I guess perhaps they won’t all be this amazing, but it sure is a great start.

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15 thoughts on “A Week in the Working World”

    1. Nee, maar pasiente hoef hulle nie daaroor te kwel nie so dit is okay… die pasient se verantwoorelikheid is om al sy/haar vrae en bekommernisse te laat hanteer! 🙂
      Ons is vier maande in elke departement, maar ons doen verskillende klinieke in daardie tyd.

      1. Moet darem sê dis baie beter as ‘n vrou in jou grawe as ‘n manlike dr. al is hy hoe professioneel – dis nou as mens nie hond siek is, dan gee mens nie ‘n flenter om nie!

        Geniet elke oomblik

      1. Hah! My guess is they get some help. But I’d be worried about putting someone through someone through hair-ripping pain when they’re that far along… right?! o.O

    1. Thanks Gen! I was really worried but I’m so glad it went well too! I’m in labour ward this week which is a little more scary for me but… here’s to getting through it with a good attitude!

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