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My interest in women’s health began when, in high school, I became aware of the ongoing genocide in Darfur. Learning about that conflict’s impact on women in terms of sexual trauma and maternal mortality opened my eyes to the depths of inequality that women face in the Global South. This, combined with the fact that I’m a first-generation Nigerian-American, led me to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology, with a global-health focus.
The miracle was that this baby had lived at all. His mother called 911 while in labor, with heroin easing her pain and numbing her conscience. The paramedics arrived at the empty warehouse where she’d been living. She delivered her newborn son in a toilet. The paramedics scooped him out, cut his umbilical cord with her razor blade and brought mother and son to our hospital.
The fact that all this took place should be
When a code is called in the hospital, it means two things: A caregiver’s day is about to be turned upside-down, and a patient’s world is about to fall to pieces. If you’re a caregiver, when a code is called you look up from your own work and wonder who’ll be sprinting through the halls and whose story is unfolding.
This time, the story was ours.
Colette Charles ~
I was a second-year resident, doing a twenty-four-hour shift on maternity care. I’d spent some arduous nights on call with my attending physician, Dr. Campbell; now we sat at the nursing station, joking about what this one might bring.
“You must be a black cloud,” she teased, accusing me of being one of those unfortunate residents who seem to attract medical emergencies. I laughingly protested, but in fact these quiet
Andrea Eisenberg ~
Seeing patients in my ob/gyn office this morning, I try to stave off the mild nervousness rumbling inside of me. My good friend Monica is having a C-section this afternoon, and I’m performing it.
We met ten years ago, when I walked my three-year-old daughter into Monica’s preschool classroom for the first time. Monica sat on the floor, a child in her lap and others playing around her. Like them,
Joe Andrie ~
It’s another day for me as an intern on the labor-and-delivery floor of my large urban hospital–another day scrambling to help pregnant women deliver and trying to keep pace with the unpredictable timetable of the birthing process.
My hospital phone rings. I’m really starting to dread that sound.
It’s the triage nurse. We’re admitting a patient: Mrs. Harris, age thirty-four, who’s had several prior deliveries and therefore carries the
I was a third-year medical student in the first week of my obstetrics rotation. The obstetrics program was known to be high-pressure, its residents among the best. Mostly women, they were a hard-core group–smart, efficient, motivated–and they scared the heck out of us medical students.
I remember the day clearly: Not only was I on call, but I was assigned to the chief resident’s team. I felt petrified.
We’d started morning rounds as
Editor’s Note: This week, on the eve of Pulse‘s second anniversary, we offer a remarkable piece. It is the true story of a hospitalization as told from three points of view: first, the recollections of the patient (who happens to be a physician); second, events as recorded in the medical charts by doctors and nurses; and third, the
It was a good night, but it’s been a brutal morning.
As a family doctor who does obstetrics, I generally enjoy my time with laboring patients. When I arrived on the maternity floor last night to start my call, things looked pleasantly uneventful. Several patients were in labor. Only one wasn’t progressing well: Ana, age twenty-two.
I was told that Ana had come to the floor two days earlier, leaking puddles of clear