"I can't find the fetal heart tones." The nurse states with a tone of underlying panic as she exits the patient room. It's around 7 a.m., and those of us working the night shift are getting ready for morning sign out before we can head home and get some much-needed sleep after a crazy 14 hours shift. "Tessa, go scan her" the resident nods towards the ultrasound machine, and I cheerfully follow ...

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When a patient arrives on labor and delivery clutching her birth plan, I’ll admit, I want to escape immediately to a remote, uninhabited island with no modern form of communication. I’d crate the carrier pigeons too, just to be safe. Many of us who deliver babies have an unshakable belief that women with birth plans unlock Pandora’s nether regions, releasing a huge flock of horrifying Kraken. The Kraken take perverse glee ...

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When I talk to my patients, one of the greatest concerns I hear is regarding the fear that they might get a cancer at some point in their life. It is a very reasonable fear, as cancers of the female reproductive tract and breasts are not as rare as we might like. Perhaps educated by Angelina Jolie’s announcement of her BRCA mutation in 2013, many women now ask me about ...

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In an article from the Pew Charitable Trusts, an upcoming scarcity of OB/GYNs in the U.S. is predicted with a potential shortage of 22,000 OB/GYNs by the year 2050. Reasons given for the shortage are a growing population, female OB/GYNs retiring early and working part-time, residents entering sub-specialties and changing physician attitudes about work-life balance. Suggestions in the article to combat the shortage are increasing OB/GYN residency spots and supporting ...

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I was home free: in my final year of medical school, with one last rotation to finish. I had matched into a residency in obstetrics. The tsunami of stress that loomed over the past year -- choosing a specialty, interviewing all over the country, waiting for the life-altering but fickle match -- had passed. I knew where I was going and what I was doing. Our end-of-the-year show was fast approaching. ...

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The latest celebrity to use the internet like a a public speculum is Khloe Kardashian. I know this because my phone blew up recently with reporters texting, e-mailing and sending direct messages on Twitter asking about vaginal vitamin E. So I gave some quotes and thought it would all die down. But no. Kardashian vagina ranks up there in national significance with the first woman running for the highest office ...

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My eyes open. The blackness of the call room envelopes me. Consciousness sets in with a lingering disorientation. A small green light, is speaking … ringing. “Are you standing up?” The resident on the other end knows her attending too well. She’s right not to risk my falling asleep mid-conversation. A woman has arrived laboring at 24 weeks gestation. Records aren't available, but she reports her fetus has a diaphragmatic hernia. ...

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I have been an OB/GYN hospitalist at a busy suburban community hospital for almost one year. I truly love my job. However, I've noticed something unexpected that's prompted me to pause. There are several physicians -- good, clinically competent, kind physicians -- who frequently perform episiotomies. Routine episiotomy is not recommended. In my training and eight years of practice prior to becoming a hospitalist I rarely saw it used. So ...

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Our patient was a 15-year-old girl who came to the emergency room of our hospital saying she wanted to commit suicide after being raped several weeks ago at a classmate's party. In the emergency room, a urine pregnancy test was positive. On admission to the hospital, she was very clear that her thoughts of killing herself came from her rape and current pregnancy. She was clear that she wished to ...

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Watch how pathologists help the early detection of women's cancers.  Created by the College of American Pathologists.

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