I’ll be honest when I started my Ob/Gyn rotation, I thought it was going to be a replicate of my surgery rotation.
I never felt comfortable with common female pathology. So to have 6 weeks filled with pregnant women and abnormal menstrual cycles didn’t make me jump with joy.
But I can say after 6 weeks I became comfortable with these topics.
In this post, I will give you my top tips to honor the Ob-Gyn rotation and develop this comfort level.
You’re The Most Awkard Person in The Room:
Maybe you like talking about menstrual bleeding, vaginal discharge, and contraception. (You should go into Ob/Gyn)
I’m not one of them.
But most patients are used to discussing these personal details during their Ob/Gyn visits.
Thus as the med student, you are easily the most awkward person in the room.
Don’t be awkward!
Be confident, steady, and consistent in your delivery of the questions.
“When was your last pap smear? Are you sexually active? How long and heavy are your periods?”
There should be no noticeable nervous creak before discusses these topics.
My first patient came in with a chief complaint of dyspareunia (pain with intercourse). You can imagine the panic alarm in my head.
But I did my best to approach the interview with a calm demeanor and the patient remained (to my knowledge) comfortable throughout.
So if you think you’re being awkward, you probably are.
Most of these questions are normal, your patients have heard them before, and your delivery is the key component.
Revisit Your Female Anatomy:
I needed help on this big time!
For the life of me I couldn’t remember which nerve and artery went where in the pelvis.
I obviously didn’t pay well enough attention to that section of anatomy lab.
But to avoid looking like a fool during OR procedures, I found some helpful YouTube videos about the female anatomy.
Here are two that cover the high-yield material.
Laproscopic Anatomy With Labels
Watch these at 2x before a surgery day.
You will look like a rockstar!
Rely on Decision Trees:
This isn’t unique to Ob/Gyn.
But Ob/Gyn does rely on decision trees a lot.
It’s important to know how to work up abnormal menstrual bleeding from start to finish. How does the lab value of prolactin or FSH change your next step?
You don’t have to look very hard to find some good decision trees.
Using these decision tresses you will know the next step regarding workout, management, and treatment for a variety of diseases.
But it’s best to get in a habit of not only what your plan would be but what your series of a plan would look like.
Master Your Understanding of Contraceptions:
I dreaded having to talk about contraception before the Ob/Gyn rotation in medical school.
I simply hadn’t’ learned it well enough. There was never the opportunity to practice those Step 1 facts practically.
But once you understand the pros and cons of the variety of methods, you can serve your patients well.
So understand who you would offer OCP to and who you wouldn’t.
I caught my intern before she gave an uncontrolled hypertensive patients OCPs. Because I understood the concept of an estrogen-based contraceptive, I could serve that patient well.
Have a good grasp on the pros and cons for OCP, IUDs (Copper and Progestin Based), Implants, Shots, and condoms.
These will cover a majority of your patients.
Spanish for Ob/Gyn is Easy:
It’s just not realistic to tell a patient in labor that you have to wait for an interpreter.
So learn your Spanish!
No, you don’t need to fluent. Just learn the basic questions you need to ask in yes/no formats.
During my first day of my labor and delivery service, I used Google Translate to look up some basic questions.
Here are some questions and translations you can use.
¿Cuántos minutos entre tus contracciones?
– How many minutes in between your contractions?
¿Puedes sentir al bebé moverse?
– Can you feel the baby moving?
¿Tienes dolores de cabeza, pecho y abdominal y problema para respirar ?
– Do you have any headaches, chest or abdominal pain, or problems breathing?
Boom! You look like a rockstar just memorizing these relatively easy phrases (Apologizes for any mistakes!)
Remember Your Surgery Presentations – Short:
Oh surgery how much I miss you (total sarcasm).
But I do remember how long the presentations were (not very).
This is an important tip to honor your Ob-Gyn rotation!
So learn a thing or two from your surgery rotation and keep your presentations short.
Don’t ramble about their lung sounds if they have no issues breathing.
If they are a post-op patient then you need to know only a few key things. How is their pain? Can they poop (pass gas), pee, walk, and eat?
Describe their abdominal exam since that’s pertinent to almost all Ob Gyn patients.
Then move to your plan.
My very first day my attending timed me. She said my presentation had to be less than a minute.
Thankfully I managed to beat the clock.
So be ready to provide a quick highlight of your patient. No one wants the full movie.
Understand Interventions During Labor:
This is important especially regarding your shelf.
All deliveries have a similar structure. “X year old women with GxPxAx at X weeks gestational age is in labor. Labor has happened for X hours and she is dilated to X inches. What do you do?”
So you have to be able to decipher based on mom’s and baby’s age if anything different has to be done.
Then you must look at if the time span of labor is abnormal. Is she taking too long to dilate? Is baby not progressing down the vaginal canal?
If none of that is the problem then you’ll likely be giving information about either bleeding, heart rate of the child, or abdominal pain in the mother. What do you do next?
So use those decision trees from earlier and be able to walk yourself through a vignette.
The shelf exam will be a piece of cake if you can do this!
Hopefully, you enjoyed these tips for the Ob-Gyn rotation!
Check out similar tips for other rotations below!
You may also enjoy the following posts!
How to Study For Rotations In Medical School (Step-By-Step Method)
Top 7 Tips For Third Year Of Med School (How To Do Well)
How to Present Your Patients in Medical School:
How to Study for Clinical Rotations in Medical School:
How to Write Notes in Medical School (Step-by-Step method):
How to Build Strong Relationships with Your Patients:
I only have one more core rotation left (psychiatry)! Excited to almost be a fourth-year student!
If there is something specific you’d like me to address in a future blog post, comment below or email me at [email protected]
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Until next time…