The first week of medical school you became a new person.  Assigned a cadaver and some partners in your first anatomy lab, the gravity of the endeavor struck you to your core as you slowly unzipped the cadaver bag for the first time and met “Ernie” (as you later named him) and wondered how he died.  You looked to the table beside you where blue nail polish could still be ...

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On a recent trip to urgent care for my child, I began to clearly see how the changes in medicine are affecting our patients and who is benefiting from the bottom line of what is occurring in the U.S. health care system. A minor injury to my two-year-old son had me waiting patiently to be seen at a local urgent care center. Eventually, a nurse practitioner evaluated, correctly diagnosed and successfully ...

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My shift had finally ended.  As a second-year resident, I was driving home after 30 hours awake straight.  The busy call included delivering several babies, two Cesarean sections, circumcisions, rounding, triaging new patients, and teaching medical students.  Never during that 30 hours was a 5-minute nap possible; clinical load would not permit this. I couldn’t wait to get home at the end of the shift as I was completely exhausted.  So, ...

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Eight weeks after I delivered my third child, I was diagnosed with a four-centimeter lung mass. Yes, you heard that right. For those in medicine, this is terrifying to hear as the first thing that comes to mind is lung cancer. Lung cancer is notoriously hard to treat, typically fatal with a short life expectancy after diagnosis and extremely unfair to a lifelong nonsmoker who has spent 12 years in ...

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My young daughter will be entering middle school in another year.  However, she still likes coloring books.  If she watches a scary movie, I have to lay with her in bed until she falls asleep. She is still just a kid.  Should I really be worried about HPV? Is this something you should consider for your daughter? As an OB/GYN doctor, I know about the HPV virus and have seen so many ...

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The statistics are staggering. The high maternal mortality rate in the U.S. has been a matter of great interest and debate, spurring a reflective look into our health care system to determine why our country is on the wrong end of this statistic. The reasons and numbers vary across the country and notably in the state of Maryland, which has had a higher than average maternal mortality rate, the number of ...

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1. You might get sent home. If you show up pregnant with your first baby, and it turns out you aren’t 4 cm dilated yet, you will get sent home because you aren’t in active labor. Please don’t cuss out the charge nurse. Yes, you are in pain — we aren’t denying that. But, there are limited numbers of beds on labor suites, and we need to keep some open for ...

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It was the end of my third year in OB/GYN residency. I was 39 weeks pregnant with you and doing a hysterectomy, my gravid abdomen being utilized as an “extra hand” to displace the large clamp nicely to the side as I pressed my belly gently against the table. I was doing surgery all day and loved operating and feeling your occasional gentle movements when in the quiet operating room as ...

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The American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) estimates that the U.S. will have between 6,000 and 8,800 fewer OB/GYNs than needed by the year 2020.  Additionally, there is a possible shortage of 22,000 by the year 2050. What is being done about this problem?  Well, there are currently efforts to attempt to increase the number of residency positions.  There is also talk of having nurse midwives take a greater role.  While those are valid ...

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Leaving your career in medicine is like breaking up in a long term relationship. It may have all started out with lofty expectations, excitement about the future, and becoming your best self. However, somewhere along the way, things got messy and twisted and not what you signed up for. There were hiccups along the way, signs that maybe it wasn’t good for you. There was the time you fell asleep at ...

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