06 October 2010

Learning in a Teaching Hospital

I remember doing my first intrapartal monitoring as a clerk, during my first day in Obstetrics/ first Labor Room/ Delivery Room (LR/DR) duty. The DR senior told me ok, trace your patient as she pulled the toco machine closer to me. (The toco machine checks for fetal well being by checking at the fetal heart rate, and how it reacts to uterine contractions.) Needless to say, I was stumped. I must have looked like an ass kneeling beside my patient, not knowing what to do with the probes and the strange machine in front of me, while my senior glared at me. You haven't done this before? Exasperated sigh with upward rolling of the eyes. Someone teach this clerk. I soon figured out how to do it, with a little direction from my intern, but I soon got glare after glare this time for not knowing the difference between a reassuring trace and a reactive trace.

Yesterday I got a call from my blockmate telling me that while referring to perinatology, she overheard the one we shall only refer as Perigodmother bitching about the post-duty intern at the Intensive Maternal-care Unit (IMU), who happened to be ME, because she didn't teach the new intern (who had come from another med school and just shifted in) how to do a trace. The new intern, of course, got a tongue lashing.

The nerve. The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is a teaching/ training hospital. Although it has been accepted that for most part our learning is mostly handed down by our immediate seniors in a see one, do one, teach one fashion, it seems terribly unfair to be lashed at (or glared at) because of something you didn't know because it was something you haven't done before. We are hospital workforce, yes, but we are students too, and we're supposed to learn from you!

I'm thoroughly grateful to those residents/ fellows/ consultants who go out of their way to teach. Which is why I really liked rotating in Internal Medicine particularly in the Medical ICU (MICU) where everyone teaches and every day is filled with learning. Which is why I still smile when I recall my longest thyroidectomy assist ever, which I surmise is partly because the consultant took his sweet time teaching me the anatomy of the neck, because it's much better to look at live than in a cadaver. Which is why I liked rotating in Pediatric Neurology with Dr. Lukban and her thrice a week rounds in the wards and at the ER even though my stress levels shoot up when she's around.

Oh, and I loved observing at the operating room this morning, even though I was peering over the surgeons' heads and hands half the time. Thank you Maam Ana and Maam Helen for annotating while you were doing the surgery. You made radical hysterectomy look really cool. :)


  1. Anonymous10:03 AM

    May annotating nagaganap will in the OR? clap clap clap...

  2. I totally agree!!! Die perigodmother die!

  3. Anonymous1:30 AM

    Who is Perigodmother? Name names!!! Yeah! :)

  4. Kathy: IKR. I love Ma'am Ana! =)
    Jose: HAHAHA yes.
    Ivy: She's a first year fellow and I think she didn't tke her residency in PGH so you might not know her. Our CI logbook has drawings of her holding a transV probe like a wand while scolding interns. :P


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