This past Saturday as well as yesterday (Monday) I had the pleasure suiting up in my white lab coat, sea green hospital scrubs, and completing hospital rounds with the OB/GYN that I shadow.
Some individuals may have mixed emotions about witnessing child birth. I, on the other hand felt exhilarated, excited, ecstatic, and one step closer to my dreams !!! Mainly because this was a completely new experience for me. I have never witnessed child birth before. I have a child but the experience of giving birth is far different from witnessing such a miracle. Another reason for my overly excited attitude was because I have always wanted to practice Obstetrics and this was a test for me. If I fainted, felt mere disgust by all of the bodily fluids, visuals and etc then I knew that I could never possibly practice as an OB/GYN. Thankfully, the opposite happened, I was amazed and honored to have been present when this small being took his first breath, the culmination of 40 weeks of gestation, the combination of 2 distinct individuals now residing in one soul. Purely MAGNIFICENT!
The beauty of shadowing at its best is that you are able to truly experience what the physician experiences. Finding a physician that provides you with real-time, "Real life" Medical experiences is so essential to our journey of pursing (pre)-medicine. I am fortunate that I have had nothing but real life medical experiences during my time shadowing. When I shadowed a Psychiatrist, she allowed me to sit in during her sessions with patients (with their consent of course), we talked about medication management and I had homework (research neurological pathways, medication mechanisms, specific disorders etc.) When I shadowed in Family Medicine, I reviewed lab results, xrays, EKGs, used my stethoscope (I felt I Doogie Howser or better yet Meredith Grey LOL), observed the physician during the patient encounters, went over EOBs, lack of sufficient reimbursement from insurance companies and tons of other things. And now during Obstetrics and Gyno, I have the opportunity to have more real life experiences. I am learning new things everyday. Is healthcare equal for all? NO. Do all physicians have the same work ethic, reasons for practicing, and aptitude? I doubt it. Is the compensation/debt ratio fair? Definitely not. But, as I continue to shadow, read, research, and so on, I am reaffirmed that this is definitely what I want to do, no doubts about it. I am quite sure this will be challenging, there will be many sleepless nights, there will be days when I have mothers' guilt. And, I will have to push myself to new limits, suck it up and know that my decision to pursue medicine is not just for me but for my family and for those that need someone like me advocating for their health rights. After experiencing childbirth firsthand and now witnessing the miracle of life from a different perspective, a new spark as been lit. If God gave me the ability to sustain another life within me, while also putting it in my heart the skills and passion to help someone else bring life into our world, help heal, and bring comfort to those transitioning, I know I can handle any curveball thrown my way.