Monthly Archives: February 2011

VBAC Summit

As long promised, here is my wrap up of the VBAC Summit, hosted by the illustrious Birthgirlz, aka Miriam Pearson-Martinez and Michelle Fonte. I was one of many speakers at this year’s summit. I was part of an impressive line up including Miriam Pearson-Martinez, Laureen Hudson, R. Zachary Pearson-Martinez, Jill Arnold from The Unnecesarean, Tamara Taitt, Dr Christ-Ann Magloire, and Nancy Wainer.

I had a fantastic time at the summit. Here are a few pictures from the summit, including a not very flattering one of me starting off my presentation with a grin. Jill Arnold and I spent the weekend together and caused all sorts of trouble and were very silly. All of the speakers were wonderful.

Here is a link to my presentation, “ACOG, VBAC and other four letter words,” a history of ACOG’s position on VBAC.

I was promised audio of my presentation, so I am hoping that shows up in my email inbox sometime soon. In the meantime, I am wrapping up my Geriatrics rotation and really looking forward to finally starting ob/gyn next month!

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Shenanigans

I still owe a VBAC Summit post, but in the meantime I want to link to some photographic evidence of the total goofiness that happened in and around the conference.

VBACitivist of the Year and Birth Activism Diva Jill Arnold stayed with me for the conference, and within about, oh, two minutes of meeting in person we figured out that we were two peas in a very, very twisted pod. In between talking like Foghorn Leghorn and giggling, she had some time to take some pictures. Some of them involve me, some are very silly, and some have made it onto her blog.

February Travel with Pictures

From Supine to Lupine

Proof that we feminist activist aren’t humorless.

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Happy Valentine’s Day

As usual, I have been really busy lately. I owe a post about the wonderful VBAC summit and a link to my presentation. In the meantime, though, I give you Valentine’s wishes.

My cutie boys.

The chocolate souffles I made for them and me for Valentine’s Day. (Hey, I didn’t say I was busy with only med school.)

And, a love song:

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When a patient is not a board question

I am really enjoying my Geriatrics rotation. Although my attending preceptor is primarily a geriatrician, and practices deep in the heart of retiree central in southeast Florida, he also sees some patients who are younger. I took a history on a patient who was younger than me today, in her early thirties.

She started off complaining about insomnia and headaches, and then said she had some sort of an “attack” earlier this week. She quickly added that her husband died suddenly three weeks ago, and her therapist recommended that she come to see her doctor. I immediately offered her my condolences.

My mind quickly flipped to a frequent practice board question as I gently asked her about other symptoms. A 40 year old man presents to an outpatient clinic complaining of insomnia, poor appetite, and feeling helpless and lonely. He frequently thinks of dying to join his wife. He lost his wife of 18 years five weeks before. Was she suffering from loss of appetite? Was she able to return to work? Had she thought about hurting herself? What did she mean by an “attack”?

Telling the difference between Bereavement-Related Depression (BRD) and Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a frequent sample board question that I have come across in various forms as I have been doing patchwork board review. Bereavement is an exemption from a MDD diagnosis for two months after the death of a loved one, while the duration of depressive symptoms only needs to be for two weeks otherwise. Board review questions often dance around this time period. This BRD exemption (and the duration of symptoms for MDD diagnosis in general) is also the subject of some controversy as experts are constructing the new Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th ed (DSM-V), which is the guide to diagnosing mental illness.

I snapped out of my board review musings and continued to question and console the new widow. When I got up to leave the room, I strongly considered asking the patient if I could hug her. Since it was only my third day on the rotation and I was in the room with the physician’s assistant, I decided against it. I think if this would be my own patient in my own practice in the future, I would not hesitate to ask. When I left the room and told the other student about it, I teared up.

I guess my empathy toggle switch is still operating just fine.

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