A Day In The Life Of...

An Ob­stet­rics & Gy­nae­col­ogy Reg­is­trar

No. 1 Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Michelle Cur­rie, 28, from Glas­gow is an OBGYN at a busy Scot­tish hos­pi­tal

Ial­ways wanted to be a doc­tor from a re­ally young age. I re­mem­ber be­ing so cu­ri­ous by what the doc­tor could see down the oto­scope when they checked in­side my ears. Af­ter study­ing at The Univer­sity of Glas­gow for six years, I spent two years do­ing var­i­ous ro­ta­tions in dif­fer­ent spe­cial­ties af­ter grad­u­a­tion. Af­ter four months ro­ta­tion in Ob­stet­rics & Gy­nae­col­ogy, I knew that this was the area I wanted to work in.

My day usu­ally starts at 9am and, depend­ing on my shift, I gen­er­ally fin­ish be­tween 5-9pm.

How­ever, the labour ward can be very un­pre­dictable so it’s not un­usual to get home late be­cause of an emer­gency or a mis­be­hav­ing baby need­ing de­liv­ered at 8.55pm! The job is very de­mand­ing – maybe more so than I re­alised when I was a young as­pir­ing med­i­cal stu­dent! I of­ten cover lots of dif­fer­ent clin­i­cal ar­eas, which con­tact me by pager... I’m sure I’m not the first doc­tor to want my pager to ac­ci­den­tally fall down the toi­let. The days can be long and hec­tic, but also re­ward­ing.

My job is very var­ied so I don’t do the same thing day-to-day.

It can be bro­ken down into three dif­fer­ent parts; At gy­nae­col­ogy clin­ics I see pa­tients with prob­lems such as pain, bleed­ing and in­fer­til­ity which may re­quire fur­ther in­ves­ti­ga­tion, man­age­ment or surgery. These pa­tients range from teenagers, to ladies in their 90’s and the clin­ics can be a mixed bag of lots of dif­fer­ent prob­lems. Then at an­te­na­tal clin­ics I see preg­nant woman who at­tend for check ups and the last part of my job is the labour ward. Cur­rently this takes up a large pro­por­tion of my weekly rota. It can be very in­tense, busy and stress­ful. I man­age pa­tients in labour and deal with any is­sues, that may arise. I am also on call for other de­part­ments in the ma­ter­nity hos­pi­tal such as the early preg­nancy and triage unit which is a bit like ma­ter­nity A&E.

Some­times I do get the odd funny look when I tell peo­ple I’m a gy­nae­col­o­gist...

But most of the time they don’t re­ally know what my job in­volves. That’s be­cause the ma­jor­ity of straight for­ward de­liv­er­ies are as­sisted by the mid­wives, so I rarely get the op­por­tu­nity to par­tic­i­pate in a nor­mal de­liv­ery. My role is mainly with more com­pli­cated preg­nan­cies and labours which re­quire de­liv­ery of the baby by cae­sarean sec­tion or for­ceps. The first time I ever helped de­liver a baby was when I was a med­i­cal stu­dent and I had never seen any­thing like it be­fore! I think I was ter­ri­fied by the whole sit­u­a­tion – thank­fully that fear has passed.

My fam­ily are very proud of me.

I don’t come from an aca­demic fam­ily so my job is very dif­fer­ent from what I was brought up around. Although I’m sure my dad will never for­get the day I called him to come to my flat be­cause my smoke alarm was beep­ing and I didn’t have lad­ders tall enough to reach it. He came all the way around with lad­ders and we then dis­cov­ered it wasn’t my smoke alarm af­ter all, it was my pager beep­ing at the bot­tom of my bag be­cause it was run­ning out of bat­tery!

I’m def­i­nitely a peo­ple per­son.

And the thing I love most about my job is the in­ter­ac­tion with so many dif­fer­ent peo­ple. It of­ten feels like a priv­i­lege to be part of such a vul­ner­a­ble or spe­cial time in peo­ple’s lives. Be­cause the days are so busy, I usu­ally take a packed lunch to work with me. And if I’m at clin­ics, I have a break be­tween the morn­ing and af­ter­noon ses­sions. How­ever, if I’m on labour ward, I’m of­ten eat­ing on the go or at any op­por­tu­nity I can.

I work very closely with mid­wives and nurses as part of my job.

I’ve al­ways had a re­ally good work­ing re­la­tion­ship with my col­leagues and I think that def­i­nitely helps to make work en­joy­able and al­lows me to do my job the best I can. But I’m of­ten in­volved in sit­u­a­tions of high stress and emo­tion and it’s only nat­u­ral for pa­tients to some­times re­flect that on to those around them, even if it’s the doc­tor! I will of­ten have labour­ing women shout at me and then apol­o­gise later once their baby is born and they feel re­ally em­bar­rassed. I un­der­stand though that it is the na­ture of the job and I rarely take any of it per­son­ally.

My favourite mem­ory in this job has been deal­ing with a cou­ple who had many failed cy­cles of IVF.

And then com­pletely un­ex­pect­edly they dis­cov­ered they had con­ceived nat­u­rally af­ter giv­ing up hope of ever hav­ing a baby. I saw the woman many times through­out her preg­nancy for var­i­ous rea­sons and I was on call when she came into the labour ward. It was so nice to be present through­out a jour­ney that they never thought they would have. To be there at the end and see them with their baby was amaz­ing.

My fave Scot­tish city is: Glas­gow, which is bias be­cause that’s where I’m from. The best Scot­tish food is: I love seafood, so any fresh Scot­tish fish or shell­fish. My ul­ti­mate stay­ca­tion des­ti­na­tion is: The Outer He­brides. The best place to go drink­ing is: Some­where in the South Side of Glas­gow, prob­a­bly Waverly Tea­rooms, I’m there quite fre­quently! My go-to shop­ping des­ti­na­tion is: Sil­ver­burn in Glas­gow.

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