Archive | 12:35 am

women’s health elective

24 Sep

I started med school truly believing that I was meant to go into either geriatrics or women’s health.  Things change.  Since I am now most certainly going into peds (at least I hope some of the programs to which I’ve applied consider my application), I tried to cram as many peds electives as possible prior to Evie’s birth.  But now I’m at the tail end of my clinical requirements–I literally only require three more days  of clinic in order to graduate–so I decided this block to scratch an itch.  As a candidate for the Certificate in Women’s Health at Penn, I am required to take one elective in women’s health, but there are a number of reasons why I wanted this elective, for me:

  1. Personal interest: the female body, it’s not simple.
  2. On the first day of our reproduction course (first year), the course director said something to the effect of, “There will likely be, in one way or another, women involved in your life–mothers, sisters, wives, daughters, friends.  And, as a medical professional, you will be counsel to them.  It’s crucial to know the basics.”  Perhaps I shouldn’t be asked for advice regarding health care, but some do, and I am overwhelmingly flattered (especially since I’m married to a real authority).  I guess that roughly 85% of questions I field right now are ob/gyn related: My gynecologist says I have to have a colposcopy–what’s a colposcopy?–the description sounds terrifying.  Is it true that I can’t lift more that 35 pounds while pregnant?  Hey there, I’m having contractions, when should I go to the hospital?  Although I can always play the student card–as in, “this is just what I’ve learned, and you can’t take it as real advice, what do I know?”–that’s not going to fly as well when I have (hopefully) an M.D. next to my name.
  3. Approximately half of pediatric patients are female, and adolescent females in particular (not to mention younger girls experiencing precocious puberty or abuse) require some of the same health and preventative care as older women.  I think what I’m learning this month is hugely applicable.
  4. There was a period of my life when I thought ob/gyn was the field of medicine for me.  As much as every peds elective I’ve completed has reinforced my desire to go into pediatrics, I wanted a women’s health elective to affirm that I do not belong in that field.

I’ve enjoyed the last 3.5 weeks tremendously, though feeling a bit spread thin at times juggling family, now convinced that we will need more (likely live-in) childcare lined up during my residency.  And I do feel convinced that ob/gyn is not field for me, but I’d like women’s health to be an integral component to my pediatrics practice.

Oh, and I’m now terrified of my bone health.  When women hit 30, they’re no longer building bone as rapidly.  And all those years of multivitamins and calcium supplements have not been shown to help.  Today I bought my first container of Vitamin D3, 1000 IU softgels.  It’s a necessary component of bone health.  Although we get it from the sun in the summer (if we show skin outside), an endocrinologist once told me that, in the Northern hemisphere, we could lie naked outside all day during the winter and still not absorb enough Vitamin D.  I am also paying more attention to how much calcium I get in my diet–45% daily requirement in a cup of almond milk!

Since I’ve been awful at posting, a few from our last-day-of-summer romp through Chanticleer:

chanticleer 1 chanticleer 2 chanticleer 3

Oh goodness, either my arm or her neck just isn’t long enough for a proper carrier selfie…she looks concerned:

chanticleer 4 chanticleer 5