Scott barely finished his first rotation of Year 3 - four weeks on the coast of Oregon at an OB/GYN clinic. Before the rotation began, Scott was pretty nervous to enter the clinical setting. While COMP-NW prepares their students for the clinical years by prepping them for board exams and having each student complete one clinical course each year, the students have limited exposure to real (non-actor) scenarios. Luckily the hospital in Newport did great job introducing Scott to the clinical world. The first week, Scott primarily observed typical procedures and cases in the clinic while answering pop quizzes from the physicians.
One week of easing was all Scott was allotted for his first rotation, as it was a busy baby season on the coast. He assisted with three vaginal deliveries, five c-sections, and a hysterectomy. The doctors also allowed Scott to conduct patient exams, collect complaint histories, and assist with vaginal exams.
I'm really proud of the habits Scott formed during his first rotation. Since he was living on the coast and I remained at home, Scott made himself available on-call every night. This allowed him to participate in many of the procedures I listed above. Though I didn't imagine he would be doing any studying while on rotations, Scott took the next day's visit schedule and would study key concepts the night before. He made good friends with the labor and delivery nurses, and they were kind enough to show him the ropes of surgery prep and delivery.
Rotations really give each student a good glimpse into what each medical specialty would be like as a career. While I don't suspect that catching babies has moved to this top of his list, Scott did mention that OB/GYN has the potential to be an interesting career choice. "There's a good mix of surgery, deliveries, and clinic. You get the nine to five with office visits, no other specialty deliveries babies (exception of some certified family practice docs), and on top of that you could do some pretty interesting surgeries."
As for me, the four weeks apart was not as bad as I had anticipated. Scott and I have had extended time apart each summer (first year for ISAC, second summer for shadowing, and now for rotations). We were able to arrange our schedules to visit each other on two of the weekends. I also kept myself very busy as usual. Though Scott does have five more away rotations (two electives, and three more costal rotations) this school year. So we'll see if I'm whistling the same tune this time next year.