A Day In The Life Of...
An Obstetrics & Gynaecology Registrar
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.