St. John’s – Health Sciences Centre

Obstetrics & Gynecology

Hospital Location:

HSC – Memorial University

St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada

Supervisor:

Dr. Tina Delaney – M.D. FRCSC, Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Contact Person:

Visiting students elective coordinator:

ugme.electives-visiting@med.mun.ca

Useful website:

http://www.med.mun.ca/UGradME/Clerkship-Electives/Visiting-Students.aspx

Main Activities Including Practical Aspect:

Each morning started with myself and the other medical students pre-rounding on all of the patients on our team.   This would usually include a tailored history, which aimed to eliminate or elucidate the possibility of common post surgical or post partum complications, followed by a quick physical exam, checking the vitals and any recent labs.   We then would quickly present any relevant findings to our resident who would usually instruct us further on what we should do next (prescriptions, discharges, transfers, referrals).  After that we would split up and attend the appropriate surgical theatre for the day.   Scrubbing was mandatory, as medical students often were needed to help the consultants.  This allowed me to have many opportunities to practice suturing and hand tying.  The days in theatre were broken up with outpatient responsibilities, which included seeing and working up patients with various pathologies (urinary incontinence, cervical changes…).  Evenings were spent on call in the case room (labor ward) where there was plenty of opportunity to get hands on experience in normal and complicated deliveries.

Advantages:

The practical role that medical students played in Memorial University forced me to think logically and with anticipation.  While initially this took a bit of adjustment, it became second nature to formulate an impression, then suggest and implement the appropriate plan.  Students are afforded a lot of hands on time in theatre and in outpatients.   The staff at Memorial were outstanding, extremely humble and very welcoming.  They pushed me to become better, but they never made me feel inadequate or uncomfortable.

Disadvantages:

The hours were long and often hard.  There were a few shifts where I would start at 7:00 am on one day and not finish until 7:00 pm the next day.  However, being involved in patient management often made these long shifts feel quite short.  Also, it took a little while to gather the confidence to implement treatment plans without the direct supervision and approval of a superior.

Most Memorable Moment:

The delivery of my first child (not my child but you know what I mean).  After witnessing and helping deliver countless infants I was able to take the lead and deliver a beautiful, healthy baby boy.  Being the first hands on a human life is a privilege that few people get to experience.  Multiple hours in theatre provided priceless experience and opportunity to practice suturing, incising and hand tying.

Would you recommend this elective to others:

Yes

Tips and how to organize this rotation:

Look at the website above.  Send off your application early.  Memorial is very relaxed so do not feel hesitant about calling if you have any questions.  They are very friendly and accommodating.