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Monday, April 19, 2010

You know what really gets my goat? (yes, I just said that…bringing it back)

The answer: med students who say they are “pro-choice, but am not sure about this whole partial birth abortion thing. I just really don’t agree with it.” Ugh. And, btw, I can complain about med students because I am one. A feisty one.

Here’s the thing. I totally love that these med students are pro-choice. Don’t get me wrong. Love it! I mean, frankly, all medical professionals should be pro-choice, but whatever. But when it comes to looking up facts about abortion and abortion procedures, some flat out fail in my book.

Let me paint you a picture. Throughout medical school, especially the latter portion, we are a sponge gathering and interpreting as much information as humanly possible. A patient has an odd lab value, we look it up, read about it, learn every possible reason for that obscure reading. A patient is going into a pancreaticoduodenectomy (yup) operation, we read about it and do our best to understand it so we don’t look like fools in front of our attendings.

But for some reason, there are med students out there that don’t do the same research for abortion. Why is that? It’s a medical procedure, 1 in 3 of our female patients have had or will have an abortion. And to be honest, I don’t have time to teach every one of those medical students why there is no such thing as a "partial-birth abortion," you might be thinking of an “Intact Dilation and Extraction,” and in the rare circumstances in which it's performed it’s much safer than the alternative (although I make time). Hey! If you are going to be a doctor--learn about it, read about it, know it.

But I guess it isn’t completely their fault. Our medical schools are the ultimate failures at not talking about abortion in the classroom or teaching about it on the wards. Students have to fight to actually be able to learn about it in school. Isn’t that crazy? It is INSANE!

That’s why Medical Students for Choice is so important in helping medical students change their curriculum to include abortion. It’s the most common minor surgical procedure in the country-wouldn’t you want to know about it and wouldn’t you want your doctor to know about it?


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