“So, do you actually, like, deliver the babies or whatever?”
“Well yeah. Sometimes.”
“Uh, because it’s awesome. Why not?!”
“Because….you’re pulling out this…..this….six to eight pound…..Ball of Liability that no other doctors want to touch!”
~ Exchange between myself (assuming you can guess my part) and another (health professions, but non-med student) student earlier this week. (Also, the best “Why the F would you want to do OB/GYN?” quote to date. “Ball of Liability,” just slays me.)
It’s been kind of a rough week. First of all, I’ve been studying my butt off to keep up with my current rotation. By 2 am Wednesday (yesterday? was that really only yesterday?) I was struggling to make myself get through another 68-page NCCN guideline by rounds at 0700, wondering how in the h*ll I’d managed all the (unrelenting, almost 24/7) studying the first two years of med school. And I still have no idea. (Seriously, how????)
And then, of course, it is Match Week. At this point, I am acutely stressed/borderline freaking out about it, and frankly, this is how I would prefer to spend it:
Versus, apparently, Everyone Else In The World:
My less-than-enthused attitude about the general party vibe/actual Match Party was unfortunately noted by the Powers That Be which led to:
Major Butt Chewing In The Middle Of Rounds + Gross Sleep Deprivation + Already Moderate Steady State Of Stress → Uncontrollable Tears of Mortification/Anger (aka The Worst) + Ignominious Dismissal From Said Rounds = Current Acute Stress Level With Increasing Chance Of Five-Alarm Freak Out
Now I understand, and am completely cool with Everyone Else In The World chomping at the bit to tear one off the instant they tear open that envelope. More power to ya. I, however, am more consumed with all the implications of The Match, and see that missive as more of a (n almost literal?) Pandora’s Box, rather than an invite to the Kegger Of The Century.
I have no idea where I’ve matched. It could be any of the programs I ranked. Part of me is excited to start the next phase of my career, mostly because I will finally just be doing (hopefully) all OB/GYN, all the time. But right now, the larger part knows that no matter where I match, it means I will be leaving the place I’ve lived for the past decade-plus, and with it, the people I love, behind. I will be going somewhere urban, which will be a huge change from the sleepy little (I’m talking little, like pop. 306. On a good day.) communities and way of life I’ve grown accustomed to, where instead of knowing everyone, I won’t know a single soul. And in the meantime, I will have a Massive Move and a Million Little Pieces of Detail to contend with. Including remembering how to lock my doors again, and learning How Not To Get Mugged.
I wish I was different, but this is how it is, and this is what I am going to see when I open that envelope. I don’t know how I’m going to make myself do it (honestly, preferably after a suitably large dose of Dutch Courage), but I sure as h*ll don’t want to do it in front of a bunch of people I haven’t exactly been BFF’s with the last two years.
As a last resort, I made an appointment with my shrink and asked them what they thought I should do. They advised me to hit up one of my attendings for some benzodiazepines.
I am not even kidding.
Instead, I decided to go to my Happy Place, aka L&D. (Reason #476 Why I Know I Have Chosen The Right Specialty – When Life gets me down, I go to Work to cheer up.) As often as possible, every time I had a chance this week. I got in on several deliveries and even got to catch and suture once. (Hence the QOD.) It was so wonderful. Brief islands of blissful engagement to the exclusion of all else, where I focused solely on the patients and the work, and basked in the eventual joys of multiple birthdays.
I’m going to a Gyn surgery first thing in the morning. One last sweet reprieve before I will be forced to face The Match Music. I still have no idea how I am going to get through it. Just that (somehow) I will, and I that am going to be wearing my sweaty, pastel, Just For The OB/GYN’s scrubs when I do.