Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Brings Out the Bitch in Me

Theorem One: OB/Gyns can be bitches.

There, I said it.

I do not think that all OB/Gyns are bitches. I think there is something about being around all that estrogen ALL THE TIME that encourages the bitchiness. There's estrogen from the patients, of course, and also from the doctors themselves, probably 90% of whom are female.

I will back up my theorem with proofs:

  1. In the resident's lounge, one wall is covered with pictures of the residents hanging out, cooking together, getting drunk together (a frequent occurrence); pictures of their babies, baby pictures of themselves, etc. In front of this backdrop, there is gossip going on. Constant, nonstop gossip. Every resident knows every other resident's business, and they talk about it incessantly.
  2. The male intern I have worked with the past week practically owns his own pair of ovaries. He drinks Diet Coke, he gossips about the attendings, he gets his feelings hurt, and he picks up on subtle digs that one attending makes about female residents. Last week, he said "Guys, guess what? I managed to hold a phone conversation AND answer a page AT THE SAME TIME! I can multitask now!" He's actually married with children, so it's not that he's gay (I assume).
  3. I am becoming bitchier by the day. It could be the lack of scheduled food and/or snacks (big girl's gotta eat, ya know), or it could be the SEA OF ESTROGEN.

A fable, if you will, to reinforce the point:

This morning, the other student and I spent a fair amount of time talking with a laboring patient. She was very sweet and friendly, telling us over and over that "I don't mind students, I'm just so glad you two are female!" It was her third baby, and she was well-used to the entire process.

Right after grabbing pizza for the residents (and sneaking a piece for myself), I returned to the lounge to the news that the patient was completely dilated. Since the other student had seen a delivery today and I had not, I ran behind the resident to the room, tucking my hair into my fashionable pony scrub cap on the way. We got there and indeed, the patient was ready to push. Her attending was on the way, so we waited outside until she arrived.

She came clumping down the hall in the loudest pair of clogs I've ever heard, talking a mile a minute with the chief. At the door, she turned to me and said "Oh no, honey, no students on this one, this patient's kinda funny about that, ya know? No students, sorry, she's just kinda funny," and walked on in.

There was nothing for me to do but say "Okay" and walk back to the lounge. The residents inside asked me why I was back so soon--did I get kicked out? I confirmed. They asked why, and I said briefly that she said the patient didn't want students. The other student gaped at me--she'd heard the same message from the patient I had. The residents began to abuse the attending a bit, saying it wasn't fair, she was kinda weird, etc. I kept quiet--I'm well aware that the lounge's walls have ears. When the attending came in after the delivery, everyone said "Oh, hi, Dr.! How did it go?" as if they hadn't just been speaking unkindly.


It's not that I'm not a gossip, it's not that I can't be mean or talk about people behind their backs. It's just that it's every day, all the time, and I'm fairly sure that no one is safe from the razor tongues (with the possible exception of the students--said male intern can't remember my name, and I wear a name tag every day). And I dislike talking badly about my friends behind their backs about subjects I wouldn't bring up to their faces--I'm sure I've done it, more than once, but it makes me feel slimy. It's just so freaking prevalent here! It's a corrosive environment!

I'm actually kind of glad that urology is more male-dominated. I get along better as one of the guys than one of the girls.


gaucho said...

You mean you don't want to belong to the Omega Beta sorrority? I'm soooo shocked. At least you have psych-cation to look forward to round out your 3rd year.

Midwife with a Knife said...

Estrogen can be as toxic as testosterone in large doses. :) Oh, and most surgeons are gossips, especially the girls, but it includes the guys, too. :) Mostly where I was a resident it was, "Did you hear so-and-so's trying to get pregnant? Did you here so-and-so's pregnant with TWINS? That's going to be tough, taking call while pregnant with twins!". There's always the "Can you believe what attending xyz did in the OR today? He's going to kill someone one day!"

But the more bitter gossip should not take place in the presence of medical students (heck it probably shouldn't take place at all!). It's unprofessional.

frectis said...

I'm totally going to work my ass off so I can get to medical school where all the good gossip is! ;)

I liked the story of the laughing the baby out. Why the pony cap thingy? I've never covered my hair at a birth and managed never to leave with amniotic soaked hair. I can't say in these parts I've seen hair covered outside the OR.

the other med student said...

I am a self-admitted gossip and bitch. but like all things, i know there is a time and a place. complaining about your coworkers is fine....just not AT work to other coworkers. and especially not infront of the med students.

frectis said...

So why does everyone want to protect the med students from hearing gossip?

dr. whoo? said...

Um, if you didn't say you were in Texas I would swear that you were a student in my former residency program. It was a gossip haven, and, coupled with the fact that it was such a small program, extremely inbred and catty. Men and women, by the way, sometimes the guys were worse! This post brings back not so pleasant memories.