Great Expectations


I was sweating like a pig, huffing and puffing from running around the hospital, up and down 10 flights of stairs repeatedly, utterly lost on my journey back to clinic from the cafeteria. I deposited my heavy bags full of reference materials (that I’d blatantly ignored in lieu of an admittedly indulgent text/FB catch up over lunch), at the nurses station, and walked down the hall.

I felt my sweat miraculously evaporate in the cool, air conditioned confines of the clinic halls. And then, I as watched the parade of pregnant ladies pass, heard the reassuring, rapid, regular beat of fetal heart monitors emanating from the NST rooms, and noted the pointed overabundance of Ladies’ rooms in the hallway, I sighed, felt all tension melt away, and a big, irrepressible, goofy smile of pure happiness spread across my face.

This, along with the ridiculous level of excitement I experienced after doing my first ever solo AFI on the Big Fancy Ultrasound machine today, reassures me, once again, that I definitely chosen the right field of medicine.

Which is good, because I am now off orientation and four days into my official OB/GYN residency. No turning back now kids.

Tomorrow is my first continuity clinic. I.e. I will be seeing my own patients for the first time. My patients. For realsies. I checked out my schedule for the clinic. It’s relatively light, with mostly routine visits for Pap smears and prenatal checks. I am inexplicably nervous about it. Inexplicably because at this point, I have probably handled hundreds of visits like this perfectly competently and comfortably, thanks to my clinical years and site which allowed such opportunities and independence. But I’ve had months off from dedicated OB/GYN rotations and I feel rusty. Plus, these are my patients. I want every patient I encounter to have the best experience and care possible, regardless of who their regular provider is, but I really don’t want to mess this up.

Which means I should probably wrap up this long-overdue post and get to prepping.

But before I go, a little about why this post is long-overdue. The last few weeks have been some of the best of my life. Every day I fall a little bit more in love with this city. There are so many wonderful things to do and see here: art, architecture, night life, nature, music, and food (don’t even get me started on the food!!). Not to mention the diversity. This city has multitudes of people from all over the world, and from every socioeconomic status  intermingling at any given time. It is at times and places, incredibly opulent, charmingly artsy-fartsy, and then, unapologetically gritty. I am absolutely reveling in it.

And any time I haven’t been at work or orientation, I have been immersing myself in it.

I have also been pretty continuously socializing, consciously making the choice to do so, foregoing my usual retreat in to solitude and studies. I am thankful that the people around me haven’t given me much of a choice in the matter. I have discovered heretofore unknown family members in the area to meet and greet with, along with visiting family (see I knew people would actually come to visit the minute I moved out of the wilds of Middle America!!), and new, exciting, extroverted, and unwaveringly inclusive friends from my residency program.

Which brings me to my residency program. What can I say? Except, much like the city, it has far exceeded my hopes and expectations on every level. The attendings, support staff, and the program are all dedicated to the highest levels of evidence-based, quality medical care, and above all, patient care. They are also dedicated to us, the residents. We are a small program, but it has been made clear from day one, that the (incredible, I’m talking pretty much every one we meet presents us with a signed copy of the latest textbook they’ve just published) attendings are dedicated to giving us the best education and best/humane residency experience possible. Oh, and did I mention they are also the most friendly, down-to-Earth group of providers I have ever met after visiting several similarly Rock Star Status academic institutions? Yep. They totally threw a BBQ in honor of the interns(!?) at one of the department heads’ homes a few weekends ago. A respectable showing of attendings came, in jeans, with spouses, and proceeded to make us feel like honored guests, colleagues, and old friends.

Which brings me to my class of interns. We are a very small, very diverse group, all previously independently, but now as a team, committed to making this program the most constructive, positive, friendly, and excellent OB/GYN program/group of residents in the U.S. I am so proud of my fellow interns, and of our vision for this program.

Of course it hasn’t been all wine and roses. My car and my internet connection have broken down at turns over the last few weeks. Normally, these would be Major Crises, but here, somehow, they’re minor snags. Thanks to the kindness of strangers and friends here who have bent over backwards to help me. The tow truck driver who picked up my car in the middle of the night with nary a compliant and a friendly smile, the incredibly helpful lady at the dealership who knocked the hundred dollar evaluation fee off my repair bill and had my car running again in under 24 hours, the fellow interns who hauled my carless self around with a healthy “Don’t you dare call a cab! I’m coming to get you!”, the internet repair person who came in on a holiday to fix my wireless and gave me their number “In case there are any further problems! Just call me!”, and of course, my local family members who consoled me over the phone, cooked for me and my friends in person, and have checked in with me continuously every step of the way.

Again, the city, the residency program, and the people here, all of them, continuously exceeding my greatest expectations…………























*Note: Most of these pictures were taken on short 15-25 minutes walks in the area around my apartment. What??????? How much do I love this city!!!!!!!