The resident took me aside before the procedure. She asked me if I have ever seen a D&E, or dilation and evacuation. I shook my head, it was my first day on the gynecologic surgery service and this D&E would be my second procedure.
“When we remove the fetus, it is going to come out in parts. If you feel yourself getting light-headed or faint, just take care of yourself and sit down or leave.”
Outpatient burn has been a lovely reminder of how good a clinic can feel. The preceptors are warm and welcoming, the techs and nurses are friendly and conversational, and the patients have been the youngest and healthiest lot I have encountered this year (minus the burns that brought them into the clinic, of course).
Kristin Clague Reihman! Kristin is a 47yo physician, healer, and mother. She serves as a coach for students in my medical school program, and that’s how I met her during first year. I’ve been looking forward to this conversation, which we recorded in the room she birthed her fourth child. In this interview, we discuss the death of her mother when she was eighteen, her own near death experience fraught with pain, and how her spirituality is connecting with others.
We found out on Wednesday, the second week of the Surgical Clerkship. Mackenzi took a urine pregnancy test the day before, but the results were inconclusive. I felt like I knew the weekend prior that she was with child. I didn’t tell her, though.
Caroline Wilson! Caroline is a 19yo college student, positive human, and survivor of a traumatic brain injury. I met Caroline while coaching crew in New Hampshire for Great Bay Rowing, and she served as a right-hand coxswain for the team. During one of our dryland practices, she fell and hit her head on cement. This caused a 2wk-long Elmer Fudd stutter and a long road to recovery. Luckily, she had her grandmother nearby, who underwent chemotherapy at the time.
In this lovely conversation, we discuss the plastic nature of memories especially when you have impaired long-term memory, how a positive reframe of a situation can change your outlook on life, and the nature of social crutches and how they help us function.
The Surgery rotation has been treating me well. For my inpatient immersion, I’m assigned to Surgical Oncology, so lots of tumor resections, addressing complications of tumors, or prophylactically removing tissue in case of cancer. The residents are busy and as considerate as they can be. I try to stay out of their way and not make myself their problem. The attendings are busy as well and do not play unnecessary games.