Meet Stilletos and Stethoscopes for her second issue and her perspectives on the speciality obstetrics and gynaecology.
You are told as a first-year medical student to keep your options open with regards to what speciality you want to delve into as you progress through your career as a doctor. For me, the answer was simple. I have always had an interest in women’s health and I could not see myself doing anything other than working in a job where I would be serving the most remarkable form of the human body. It amazes me to this day that the female body can host a ‘parasite’ for 9 months to then go through the process of labour! In this post, I am going to talk about why I want to specialise in O&G.
Where did it start?
A career in O&G was made appealing to me when I went to a Medical Students’ Day hosted by the British Undergraduate Society of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BUSOG) in my first year. I had the privilege to meet some inspiring women and men who are striving to promote women’s health both nationally and internationally. Learning about the advances made in this speciality and how this has saved thousands, if not millions of lives of women over the years made me realise that I too, could add to reducing the number of preventable deaths faced by many women across the world as they go through a physiological phenomenon such as pregnancy.
Placements and elective
Starting my O&G rotation in my third year at medical school made my interest in the field grow. There was not a single dull moment whilst I was on my O&G placement. The variety of the jobs that I saw the doctors undertake made me realise that this was a speciality that would always keep me on my toes!
After my finals in the fourth year, it was time for my elective. You can probably guess by now what speciality I decided to do my elective on! My elective was at the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital in Australia where I spent 4 weeks in their O&G department. Whilst I was in the land down under, I met my role model. She was the lead O&G consultant at the RBWH which is a tertiary centre for the whole of the State of Queensland. The patients loved her and she was well-respected among her colleagues. She also had four kids, so ladies we really can have it all! During my time at the RBWH, I was able to get really involved with the team. From assisting in the clinics to being the first assistant in caesarean sections, I was able to really immerse myself in the world of obstetrics and gynaecology. By this stage, I was adamant that I wanted to work in O&G.
After my fourth year of medicine, I decided to undertake an intercalated BSc. I was accepted at Imperial College London to study Reproductive and Developmental Sciences. This year I was able to learn about obstetrics and gynaecology in a lot more depth. It also allowed me to undertake a research project which is likely to be published in a few years’ time. Learning about why pathologies occur has been interesting as it is a luxury that is not always accessible when you are studying medicine. Over this year I was also surprised to find that research was something I enjoyed doing. During my early years at medical school, it is something that had never appealed to me but being able to add to knowledge we have about issues affecting women is something that I am keen to get involved in throughout my career.
Over the course of 4 years at medical school, I carried out two special study modules exploring topics in O&G. I was able to present both of these at BUSOG events. Even though it was daunting to present my research at first, I am now even more determined to continuing research into O&G.
When I go back to my university to finish my fifth year of study, I am hoping to undertake my two student-selected placements in O&G and sexual health. Once I start working as a foundation doctor, I am planning on doing some extracurricular work with the O&G department to increase my chances of getting into the speciality training programme. My life-long ambition is to work for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières and to set up an organisation that promotes women’s health in rural areas in a developing country.
Want to know more about O&G – check out part 1 of this issue here.
About the author
I am a medical student from Lancaster University blogging about my journey through medical school. I am currently nearing the end of my intercalated BSc year at Imperial College London where I am studying Reproductive and Developmental Sciences. I am extremely passionate about women’s health and hope to pursue a career in O&G in the future. Find me on Facebook and Instagram.
Do you have a speciality you love! Would you like to write a feature about it? Get in touch with us firstname.lastname@example.org – we would love to hear from you.