Thursday, December 31, 2009


As is the way of things, time for a summary statement:

2009 was apparently a big year of change, if the internets tell the truth. It certainly was for me. It was the year I became a wife, a doctor, and a (cough) New Englander, in chronological order. In 2 months we had the most amazing wedding with so much love from friends and family, quickly drove back to Cleveland for graduation, flew to Milan, honeymooned in Tuscany where we practically drank the olive oil straight (and maybe some wine too), flew back to a Cleveland now empty of our med school compatriots, finished packing, and drove the Penske truck to Rhode Island with the help of my father-in-law. 2 weeks later, I was introducing myself as Dr. G, checking cervixes, cutting into abdomens, and trying to project confidence.

While here in Providence, I have changed. I'm learning to act fast and trust that I actually do know how to manage sick people. I've learned what it's like to bond with oncology patients over time, only to hear that she died over the weekend or two days after you discharged her to home hospice or on Christmas morning. I'm learning about marriage. About relying on your partner enough but not too much. About trying to feel like a human partner after working and worrying about your patients all day. And I've developed my relationship with my sister. We're both on the east coast now, within a short driving distance. More things are possible. Work has provided new friends, including Cat, my "Work Wife," my partner in foodie crime. We go to Boston for Ethiopian food, New Haven for restaurant week, and La Laiterie all too often for cheese. We discuss the changes that our jobs demand of us.

Transition: it's the part of labor where things truly get going, where the pain becomes truly intense. It looks awful, overwhelming, impossible. But it is necessary for birth.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Love my job

Monday, as I performed my first perineoplasty, I had this conversation with my attending:

Attending (A): I would go here...then here...Make it work!

Me (K): Um...The Tim Gunn method of surgery?

A: Hahaha! Yes! It's Project Runway: Vulva Edition! Less is more!

We both were quite amused with ourselves. (Also, I made it work and improved this patient's quality of life, which is the important - but less amusing - part.)

We're currently in the process of interviewing next year's group of interns. This is amazing. It is amazing because it means that I will not be an intern forever! Yay! Also, it is amazing because I get to talk about this program to people who really, really want to hear about it (or at least have to pretend as much). In the process of talking, I realize over and over again how great this place really is. Obviously, it's a great hospital with Ivy League affiliations and wonderful volume, but it's really so much more than that. It's a chosen community of people dedicated to providing top notch, comprehensive health care for women. It's people who are self-driven to great heights and who will support everyone else in reaching their own goals, in good times and bad.

At every applicant lunch we play a slideshow of us working and playing together. I get a little teary every time.