ndab Ah Yes, Medical School: I'm Every Woman

Friday, October 07, 2005

I'm Every Woman

The scene: Labor and Delivery Night Call. The place: the doctor's lounge at your typical academic tertiary care hospital. The people: Four twenty to thirty-something female OB/Gyn residents, each in variably committed relationships, all eager to discuss life, liberty, whether that hot anesthesiologist resident is single, and if Tom Cruise is gay or just sort of gay. Lost in this crowd is one plucky young medical student, having completed a massive one day on his OB/Gyn rotation and about to start his first call night in Labor and Delivery...

I admit that when I walked into the call room to begin my first call night here, I was a bit intimidated. Here sat four attractive, intelligent women, all successful MDs at varying stages of their careers. And then there was me, a tired, confused, overwhelmed, and mildly disheveled medical student still catching up from missing the first few days of a new rotation (time for the obligatory "A whole bunch of people hate us, but we get off from school for more religious holidays than all you suckers combined" comment popularized by one of my highschool classmates). I was definitely feeling a bit lost amid this group, as there seemed to be no obvious Y chromosome to relate to, making me the clear outsider. Would they reject me? Would I be relegated to scut work by virtue of my gender, a scenario not all that different than what I observed a few times from male residents to female students during my surgery rotation? Would any of these women go out with me?

Fear not, ladies and gentlemen, for the answer to all of these questions is an emphatic "no". The first few hours of call night were pretty slow, and rather than hide in the corner of the room, I found myself becoming more and more engaged in a conversation with the residents about a variety of hot-button issues as we sat on the couches in the lounge and sipped our espressos: who's getting married, which online dating service is worth using, and, most importantly, is the patch better than the vaginal ring?

Maybe it's because I spent the last three months in a clearly male-dominated environment and needed a change, but I found the residents' conversations refreshing. Before I knew it, I was totally getting into this conversation. Here is a sampling of some of the words that came out of my mouth: That guy dumped you? He's a fool! She slept with both of them? Dirty ho! That's the best excuse he could come up with? Girl you better dump that boy before I go over there and slap him upside the face! Let's watch Access Hollywood. Isn't Noah Wylie just so dreamy? Why aren't there any doctors like him around here? Don't mess with that nurse, she's on her period! What's the next book for Oprah's book club?

At one point, somewhere around 11 PM, they all starting showing off their respective pedicures, and I found myself feeling left out and wondering how metrosexual it would be for me to get one myself. Then they all started braiding each other's hair. I shit you not. Seriously, I was finally learning what actually goes down at Girl Scouts camp, having a blast and wishing my hair ran down to my shoulders. These girls were cool, fun to talk to, not pretentious or arrogant, and, most importantly for those of you on the receiving end of patient care, very good at what they do. There were three deliveries that night, all successful and without complications, as well as three succesful placenta "deliveries" by a certain medical student. (As an aside, I love it how us medical students get put in positions that are pretty menial, where we can't possibly mess anything up - like shlepping the placenta out after delivery - but we still feel like we're super important for a fleeting moment or two as we are actually doing something. Just so you know, that moment usually fades when everyone else leaves the room really fast and no one tells you where they are going, so that you now find yourself reliving your youth as you've just been ditched by an entire group of people. Not that that has ever happened to me before or anything.) In all, it was a great night. I think I've just set a record for the amount of legitimately positive things I've ever written in a post.

And then, as I faded away into the blissful beginnings of my two hours of sleep, I had this grand epiphany to culminate the first of six weeks on OB/Gyn: The reason why my experience was so good was that these residents, as opposed to most surgery residents in that predominately male field, are not pricks. And the reason why they are not pricks is because...well...they don't have any. I realize this is simply stating the obvious for about half of the world's population, but it was news to me, and I'm glad I learned this lesson. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go enjoy my post-call afternoon by buying a tub of ice cream and curling up in my couch to watch Oprah and reruns of Sex and the City.


Blogger Perdita said...

okay...but did your conversations with the men disintegrate in to blather too?
I mean I totally understand for the need for female blather (when you've been surrounded by all men) but seriously...braiding and Access Hollywood?

11:42 AM  
Blogger Anne said...

So which IS better? The patch or the ring? I was actually wondering that myself! Help a sister out!

11:50 AM  
Blogger Daphnewood said...

Let me quote you: "I shit you not" why does every physician say that phrase? I have met tons of doctors. I am even married to one. And they ALL say that phrase "I shit you not". He said it yesterday when talking about some brain surgery that plucked a tumor from deep inside a venous cavern and left no deficits in the patient. "I shit you not, the patient woke up intact with zero neurological deficits!" It's like combining Shakespeare with street rap. I mean, all those years of extensive education. Hundreds of thousands of dollars spent to enrich your minds and they still use "I shit you not" Now that is something I should do a study on. I feel a thesis coming on....

12:01 PM  
Blogger starbender said...

Sounds like an interesting night!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

You crack me up!! I love your site! Don't worry, you'll get a girl soon, esp. w/your new "understanding" of the female persuasion, (not to mention your great sense of humor and the fact that you're a doctor ;) ).

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog is different:D but I like different blog:D
You can visit my blog http://emu-mara.blogspot.com, I am new and Im from poland.

2:57 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Westchester said...

So you had a glance behind the cutain of feminine mystique. But I warn you not to linger, you may never want to leave.....

P.S. I love your blog.

3:18 PM  
Blogger Transcience said...

Well Fake Doctor, I think you've finally figured out that Chevy Chase holds the secret to getting chicks: Be the ball. Go get that manicure and some Axe body spray. Your wife-to-be Natalie will be very pleased.

The Other Jew

3:55 PM  
Blogger Chackler said...

I recommend Dryers chocolate ice cream and season five of Sex in the City. If you really want to get in touch with your feminine side then rent Steel Magnolia's or Fried Green Tomatos.

3:57 PM  
Blogger Twanna A. Hines | FUNKYBROWNCHICK.com said...

I love reading your blog!

And, I don't get it ... NONE of the lovely ladies would go out with you? Not even after you sat through the hair braiding and shared every other intimate moment with them?!?!


4:39 PM  
Blogger MsKathEP said...

This has been insiteful for me. My former college roommate is also a medical student enduring many of the same things that you are at this time. It leads me to understand why she has so little time, being a student at one of the top medical schools, dealing with rotations, classes and exams. Good luck to you

4:44 PM  
Blogger Mel said...

Really enjoy your blog. Thanks for making me laugh. I have been reading and laughing for days now.

6:12 PM  
Blogger Angelfish said...

Your blog is HILARIOUS! I will visit often. Thanks.

7:22 PM  
Blogger Bitsy said...

Let me just offer a spin on your positive OB/GYN experience.....they are nice to you b/c you are a BOY. They treat us female med students who have the audacity to sit right in front of them and NOT go into OB/GYN like dirt. I shit you not.

8:22 PM  
Blogger define_me said...

*hands you a gold star* I thoroughly enjoy your blog. I accidentally bumped into it 2 days ago...and so far...they have been 2 days of captivating insight to the real world of med school. I was contemplating med school back in the day (who hasn't) so you've got my attention and I will keep tuning in to the show when i get the chance. Keep it up!

8:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

stopped on by because it was on some blogger list (my own blog sucks) and because i am a procrastinating med student with a monday exam. as a side note, i went to business school and i'm not sure if you'd want to go to their mixers. while the food and drinks will be good... the company will be like type A premeds on riddlin trying to be your best friend.

9:24 PM  
Blogger Aik Ooi said...

i have lots of friends in med school, also used to work by a hospital where i had lunch everyday. reading your blog sorta remind me of my friends and those days in the hospital. i can relate :)

11:07 PM  
Blogger Sheherazade said...

I laughed my head off!

11:08 PM  
Blogger Bailey said...

Having delivered a baby in the past year, it is comforting to hear that the staff is so in tune with each other! Your BLOG is awesome! :) I am starting my pre-req's for Nursing School in January. Mind adding me to your list of BLOGGERS? It would be nice to have someone to chat with who is more advanced in the same field. Thanks! :) Bailey PS:ANNE, THE PATCH IS MUCH BETTER.

11:42 PM  
Blogger Bing said...

Hey Fake Doctor, just passing through and throughly and heartily. Good to hear that med school is just as weird on the other side of the world.
Wellington New Zealand.

3:11 AM  
Blogger AGRADA said...


I,m a medical student, i can feel the pain you feel..i wish i can do as ( che guivara ) did , when he left his career as a doctor and joined the rebels.

3:37 AM  
Blogger djshawn said...

I really like your thoughts.... and this is my second time visiting your site. I think I like! I am gonna put you on my favorites and visit often. I may want to put a link on my blog to yours..... come see me and tell me what you think.....

"Life as I know it"

4:31 AM  
Blogger vk said...

nice blog man....but I do have to give you one word of warning...those ladies in OB/GYN can flip on you at a moments notice...especially on the gynac side of things....you have been warned lol. Keep up the good work.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Danaë said...

Hahaha... hilarious. I'll definitely be back.

PS: you can borrow my Desperate Housewives box set if you need to. ;)

10:07 AM  
Blogger Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

You are one of my new favorite reads. I linked to your blog after I spent time last week reading quite a bit of your recent and archived stuff.

I love the observation that these docs aren't "pricks because they don't have one."

Having attending births for the last fifteen years I can say that your attending a woman for the birth of the placenta isn't menial. The way a woman in labor and birth is attended impacts her heavily in breastfeeding, parenting and future births. I honor you for finding the rotation fun and the fellow residents refreshing.

I'm an old fart--44 and in nursing school now. I'm going to keep reading.


10:27 AM  
Blogger Milliner's Dream, a woman of many "hats"... said...

P.S. Let's find you a hot Jewish girl, my dear!


10:28 AM  
Blogger Rygel said...

hmmmm... how come in my experience those in OBGyn are pricks (even if they don't have one) vs those cool surgeons?

10:38 AM  
Blogger poi said...


I am an anaesthetic SHO in the UK...equivalent to your american residents...hehe...doing guess what...an obstetric posting...


mate...my heart goes out to you...

and god some of the gynaec SHOs are HAWT...


peace my friend.

You will defi find your calling


1:33 PM  
Blogger genderist said...

RN here, seriously getting a kick out of your med school experiences. You've got a way with words -- and if you can pair that with a sincere-looking affect, you'll be a success at the bedside!

2:16 PM  
Blogger trishy said...

I must say that your blog is quite funny. It's refreshing when a guy begins to figure us women out, and with your newfound knowledge, I'd guess you'll have a girl to cozy up with for Sex in the City marathons in no time!

2:33 PM  
Blogger Kennya Karoline said...

well... my english is not so good, but i undestood some words... (lol)
u write to much, this is wonderful, me either. I am student of nusing and arts here in brasil. i will be back and i will add u on my links. take care, and don't forget to be urself and to prentend with the men who is a shit!

3:26 PM  
Blogger HHD said...

Nice to know you got on so well with them. Wonder if it has something to do with your gender? In my profession, I find that female doctors are brittle to the point of rudeness when I advocate for a patient's needs while the majority of male physicians can have a professional conversation with me. What's up with that?

6:05 PM  
Blogger Zarathustra said...

Women don't have what it takes to be doctors - that's my take on it.

They should stick to changing bed-pans, and sponging patients down etc.

6:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This woman will never be changing bedpans, but the thought of doing dental work without anesthetic on a particular blog commentator sounds like a fabulous plan. On a side note, I hope you enjoy your next 6 weeks, bro. They should be quite educational.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi! Well I`m looking foward to spent a night like that, until now my shifts have been not boring but frustating...I'm their slave and the best part is my mate flirting with the doctor while I do all the job (I repeat the slave job!)

7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't know where you go to med school, but ob/gyn is absolutely malicious where i'm at. the residents talk shit about students, even to other students. it's one giant sorority, and not in a good way.
surgery, on the other hand...cowboys. love'em.

7:51 PM  
Blogger Ms. Charisma said...

Thanks. This was really fun to read.

8:08 PM  
Blogger -M- said...

If I was a hot Jewish girl, I'd TOTALLY ask you out... ;)

8:57 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

...and you make me feel so unpopular. How do you have 39 people leaving comments for you over 2 days? What's your secret, other than the obvious fall-on-the-floor-hilarious experiences you have? I think I'll have to go to med school. That must be it.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'll make sure no one changes your bedpan if you are ever sick in the hospital, zarathursa.

<3, the fake doctor's other sister

11:04 PM  
Blogger HHD said...

Someone obviously missed the finer point of my comment. Women have been so historically set back on advancing themselves professionally that we often forget that we are all seeking to break through the same barriers and can occasionally let something as insignificant as a "glass ceiling" or a career title obscure our outlook. Men, whom I welcome in the field, are also in the career of nursing and are of tremendous vslue. People without proper respect for the profession do themselves and others a tremendous disservice.

11:06 PM  
Blogger Cie Cheesemeister said...

My mother, who became a nurse back in the semi-dark ages (1958) says that she thinks treatment of patients has improved greatly with there being more female doctors. Particularly the treatment of female patients. And the younger male doctors have a more compassionate attitude than their predecessors due to working with female doctors. This may be a bit of a generalization but I think it mostly holds true.
My mother can recall when the standard response to a woman suffering from horrendous menstrual cramps was "it's all in your head." Now it is recognized that there are prostoglandins and other fun things that I'm sure you know a good deal more about than I which contribute to this difficulty.
I think you're going to make a great doctor. You're very observant about people. And don't worry--someday you'll find a nice lady doctor who will say yes when you ask her out!
But what I really need to know is, do more female residents prefer Noah Wylie or Goran Vizjnic? Or do they still wish George Clooney would come back? And is ER even still on except in syndication?
Good luck to ya!
Cheesy 1

11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And I thought they did not have any time in med school...:-)

11:45 PM  
Blogger Sanjog said...

fine..... at last... found a medical blog.... we r at extreme corners of the world....but ure medical life is similar to mine.... as it it with every medical student...... it sucks..well sometime someone else does the sucking.....


1:39 AM  
Blogger Tari Anne said...

Can I be just one more RN (open heart recovery/ICU) that's here to say you rock? I dated a jew before, but I'm not one...might I get a chance? :)

My vote is for the RING...the patch leaves lint-covered adhesive on your skin...now THAT'S SEXY!

ps...how'd that SPAMMER get in here!

3:28 AM  
Blogger nurse pica said...

hi there!
im a student nurse in my final year and to b honest with you, i had a good time in the labour ward and all the docs were really nice to me...unfortunately i did meet some bitchy midwives! and yeah it feels great to deliver a placenta, however after a while, the novelty does ware off!

4:01 AM  
Blogger Thorn said...

I am a person looking to heal her soul and spirit, put some joy back in my days, and give me hope of each day. My friend Wanda introduced me to "Mail Art" and "Artist Trading Cards". I am so amazed at the art she receives everyday, I love art, not real good at it but would love a creative way to express myself. Therefore, I'd like to start a Mail Call by snail mail only with the Theme being "Fairies" If anyone would like to share their talent and expertise, I would be very thankful. My contact information is: Carrie, 610 Third Avenue, Williamsport, PA 17701. No returns, all art exhibited on my blog and images of exhibition will be e-mailed if you include your e-mail address. Will gladly send art in return if requested! Thanks!. Please forward this email on to anyone who you think may be interested in participating
My Email: crconfer@verizon.net
My Homepage: http://www.geocities.com/crconfer
My blog: http://crconfer.blogspot.com/

6:10 AM  
Blogger Dazed And Confused said...

loving your website - good luck with the medicine. and try not to end up disillusioned like myself (having a career crisis). ah med school... happy days *sigh*

10:16 AM  
Blogger tuckabuick said...

Please see my brain surgery blog.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol you said it. that is very interesting. Please keeup up the good work. i find your post fantastic. and "I shit you not" LMFAO. Ever heard of senfied? lol. goodnite.

11:22 AM  
Blogger js184 said...

I agree with women physicians being caring and sensitive. Their care seeems to be obvious in physician-patient interaction, and I'm saying this as a guy.
On the other issue, as a medical student, I have those moments of glory as I do even the most menial of tasks. It's the beginning of the path.

My Medical Blog

4:04 PM  
Blogger Val said...

Ok, this blog is hilarious.
I'm off to medical school next year, I'll def. read along! Although I'm a vet and know what I'm going into!

I'll link you in my bolg, so that I don,t forget to read here once in a while!

4:25 PM  
Blogger Evil Smile said...

On an unrelated note, please visit evilsmile17.blogspot.com. Otherwise you will see a man wearing a hat.


4:39 PM  
Blogger Anika From Darwin said...

The hair braiding part made me crack up and I instantly thought of the movie 'White Chicks'!!

Keep up the good work!!

8:27 PM  
Blogger S. Susanne said...

...And I thought my ex, The Lawyer, was funny. Your blog is too great for words, I shit you not. How ARE you still single??

8:27 PM  
Blogger DoctorEarly said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:38 PM  
Blogger DoctorEarly said...

I see that I am not alone when I say, "I'm hooked!"
I am still looking forward to med. school someday. Have I just not read enough of your blogs yet?
I'll be staying tuned and catching up on reruns or rereads rather!

11:40 PM  
Blogger Jenny said...

Yeah, that 'pricks' thing was pretty accurate...

I just found your blog yesterday, and I started from the beginning so I can catch up (I'm only up to Dec. '03, but I'll get there!)

I've been toying with the idea of becoming a doctor for a year, now (seriously considering it for a couple months) so I REALLY have enjoyed your reads.

9:21 AM  
Blogger ...~*~... said...

I had once thought of being a doctor. Now I study Radio & Television. I'm not sure if I made the right decision... Either way... Nice blog, very interesting :)

9:55 AM  
Blogger bigshoulders said...

hilarious blog!
keep 'em coming.

10:59 AM  
Blogger beajerry said...

The women nurses I work with talk worse than sailors in a lockerroom.

I have to strive hard to keep up.

11:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Fake Doctor,

I stumbled upon your blog today, and I love it. Also, I'm an attractive single Jewish girl double majoring in biochemistry and nutrition. *shy smile*

11:54 AM  
Blogger diE to SELF LiVE foR ChRisT said...

hi! just blog surfing!

12:21 PM  
Blogger High Power Rocketry said...

Ok so you claim to be in medical school.

Well riddle me this hot shot:

Are shows like greys anatomy realistic?


12:36 PM  
Blogger wanderlust junkie said...

LOL...i am definitely coming back to this site to read more... :-) i must say, it is quite interesting to hear that hair braiding is one form of bonding in the hospital...

12:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Strange. I'm glad I haven't had to be hopitalized yet. I dred the day I will have to go.

2:17 PM  
Blogger pensacolaboy said...

kind of interesting. . .what kind of person are you

2:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After discovering this blog and reading many of fake doctor's posts on this glorious holiday, I'm in love. Sadly, I'm at an east coast med school...and I'm not Jewish.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Internal Medicine Doctor said...

great writing. I'll read you more often now. good blog. I'm happy for you that you got on the 'blogs of note', finally someone who can write descently getting the attention they deserve.

Join Medlogs and you'll find some more of us medical school/resident freaks.

4:36 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Funny Blog - Where do you go to medical school?

6:39 PM  
Blogger (c) Haylee as Hannah said...

Very interesting blog. Who ever heard of someone giving the play by play day by day of what a school is like. (wink, wink)

Stop by sometime if you want to hear how much fun law school can be. :o)

6:49 PM  
Blogger Litahnee said...

What style of braids?
*Cheap holiday in Bali (even cheaper at the moment)
*Dread potential (really thick and messy) or
*Little House On The Prairie (mmm...Laura Ingalls-Wilder)

9:46 PM  
Blogger beertapgirl said...

You're starting to resemble George on Grey's Anatomy. Are you sure you're not pulling a "single white female" thing on these hapless unsuspecting female residents? If not, let me say that I am duly impressed by any man that can, not only get in touch with his feminine side, but go public with it. Hoorah for you. Can you tell me...how many dates do you get with such newfound estrogen flowing through your veins?

10:32 PM  
Blogger beertapgirl said...

Oh yeah...I really do enjoy your blog. And just like every other Tom, Dick and Jane who has posted here...I'm also in a med studies field. Ultrasound Tech. By the way...don't mind the sarcasm, that's just my inner single self who must persist in being a cynic!!!

10:37 PM  
Blogger missbhavens said...

Were you in my MDs conference room last night? That sounds an awful lot like where I work!

(also FYI: vaginal ring is better than the patch. You'll just have to trust me)

11:46 PM  
Blogger Watergirl said...

This has got to be added to your classic post list. I, too, am going through your old posts, and I think as you get further along your blog, your writing's getting stronger. Maybe it's the late nights, and maybe it's the braiding experience, but I hope you continue writing, all the way through specialization (ob/gyn!). Those hot Jewish girls don't know what they're missing by not going out with you! :)

1:53 AM  
Blogger constance said...

Love your blog! From someone with no knowledge of med school i found it really entertaining! if you're really serious about becoming a metrosexual, don't forget to check out Breakfast at Tiffanies!!!!

6:01 AM  
Blogger Debbie Cakes said...

Thanks for the laugh. I've linked you to my blog, like you need anymore promotion. No publishers knocking down your door, yet? Well, I never!

6:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, but just remember, when you and your girlfriends get over your heads in surgery, you have to call in one of those other pricks who can actually operate.

6:23 AM  
Blogger remmaps said...

Dan "Dan Riehl" Riehl

Riehlworld "Riehlworld" Riehlworld

Riehl "Riehl Natalee" Natalee

Dan Riehl "Dan Riehl Lies" Lies

Dan Riehl "Dan Riehl" Lies

2:48 PM  
Blogger Kristan said...

Wow! Fantastic blog. I'm an RN student, working toward med school (slowly). What's with the hate for anesthesia????? ~~(peds OR tech)~~

PS...I totally agree with blogger about you beginning to look like George from Grey's Anatomy... only "more Jewish," which translates to "hotter," at least in my book.

2:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in an ER and I LOVE LOVE LOVE your blogs... not jewish but interested!!!

4:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i just found your blog and somewhat found this article to be the most entertaining.

i love how liberal this post feels.

5:42 PM  
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