Hands on in the boondocks

Howdy. I have been busy, as usual. Not only working at a new rotation site, which has been wonderful, but driving more than three hours a day to get to and from this site.

Our medical school requires that we do three months of rural rotations. I am doing two at a community health center in the middle of the state. The surrounding town is a farming town, with a large migrant population.

I am absolutely loving it. I am starting off with the ob/gyn, and we do gynecology, family planning and obstetrics. It is a very hands on rotation with an attending physician who is eager to teach. I have done many pap smears, STD tests, contraception counseling, cervical checks on full term pregnant women, and I GOT TO INSERT AN IUD. That plus a journal club, a training on human trafficking and a training on contraception compliance. Not bad for the first week and a half!

Our first two days consisted of orientation, and the longest time slot was given to the lactation consultant, who I love. She is working on a “Men and Women’s Health Day.” When I gently pointed out to the Medical Coordinator of the site that it was trans exclusive, they took me seriously. I am going to be the point person for any individuals identifying as trans (or anyone else who has questions in that area) the day of the health fair. Apparently they had some there last year and were at a loss. I am going to start with the resources linked to by Rachel at Women’s Health News and go from there.

I’ll try to check in again. If I could type while I drove, I’d have a ton of posts. Instead I am listening to board review materials. And looking at the swamp wildlife. And trying to avoid a speeding ticket.

I can easily see myself working at a community health center. This is totally my bag.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Hands on in the boondocks

  1. I could totally see you working in a CHC too. That was where I did my AmeriCorps stint as a doula/MCH educator and it was a great setting. The clinicians there were truly committed to their population and we really enjoyed working with them. Your rotation sounds like fun, but whew! that is a commute. I have sometimes contemplated taking a voice recorder on long trips (when I also compose never-to-be-published posts in my head)…but then when would you find the time to type it up??

  2. Hilary: Thank you soooo much for your trans-awareness. I have only awakened to trans issues in the last month as my own Sarah has become Zack… has been approved for “T”(estosterone) and already has the name change in the court system. This is a whole new world for me! I will definitely need to tap into folks like you who are far more aware than I have been. I do hope to become a resource, though. Once I’m through the steep learning curve. Thanks so much.

    • Congrats on Zack’s transition. I hope everything goes well for him. Thanks for sharing.

      There are a lot of great resources on the Internet, both for health care practitioners and for lay people. I’m sure you’ll do great in your learning.

  3. I’m excited for you! You sound really happy and that’s awesome that you are providing resources for trans-awareness.

  4. Right on – hope those resources help!

  5. Promoting trans awareness is a great thing. We have a transgendered attending at my medical school, and even the supposedly educated members of the medical profession are often ridiculously ignorant and inappropriate when it comes to her.

    • MomTFH

      There’s a health care practitioner who works at one of our sites who may be trans – she is not out as far as I know. She is well respected in her office and among her patients, but there is a lot of tittering and rude, clueless comments among my fellow students.

      • That make my heart ache, but I sigh knowing, all too well, human nature. I read your reply to Zack who said something like, unless you’re a white, Christian male, people will find *something* to make fun of. Sadly, he’s too right.

        We have been so, so blessed in our lives so far… from friends to his parents, every single person has been 100% supportive… his parents calling him son and his chosen name 99% of the time, his sisters calling him brother, his nephews (pre-teen) taking the information in stride… it’s just been so easy… almost scarily easy. We *know* we’ll come up against (stupid) ignorance and anger, but it just hasn’t happened yet. Ignorance from not knowing, sure… ignorance from being stupid and uncaring, not yet.

        Sending light to the others who don’t have it so easy.

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