In my very first job as a doctor, working in a London hospital in the 1980s, I always took a ridiculously detailed past medical history for every patient I saw. I started to notice how many elderly women had had septicemia, a life-threatening infection in which enormous amounts of bacteria enter the bloodstream.
The neighborhood surrounding the hospital had once been the worst slum in London, and it didn’t take me long to guess
We stand outside in the heat. We swat at the occasional persistent mosquito. We try to ignore the sweat beading down our foreheads and the backs of our necks. We retreat to the deepest recesses of shade we can find. We wish for a hint of a wisp of a smidgen of a breeze. We hold court on life and love. We laugh and tease and are determined to have a good time.
“I feel bad…” Amy whispered, then paused.
I’m a family-medicine resident, and I was doing my gynecology rotation, which involved spending a few days at a Planned Parenthood facility. This was my first day. I’d been assigned a patient to shadow: a young woman named Amy, who was here to have a first-trimester abortion.
I’m a fan of Planned Parenthood’s work providing high-quality, affordable contraceptive and gynecological care. In college, when I lost
Sophia Lee Ryan
I’d prepared as much as I could: I had a huge coffee, a water and every kind of snack imaginable stuffed into my bag. In my head I carried as much information about dilation and curettage as I’d been able to absorb during a study session at Starbucks the night before.
I was a third-year medical student doing my obstetrics and gynecology clerkship, and I was about to spend