Well, here we go. I’ve entered Level 2 of the Midwifery Education Program!
After a week of orienting the Level 1 students (my role as part of the MSMC student union) I got myself acquainted with the significantly more clinical courses in the program, including:
- Pharmacology (all the drugs we can prescribe, their methods of action, and their possible interactions with other drugs)
- Reproductive Physiology (conception to birth)
- Clinical Skills (how to take a history, blood pressure, suturing, venipunctures, etc.)
I love the classes. They are finally so much more relevant, and the schedule is more structured. I love reading the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) guidelines for standards of obstetrical care and scope in Ontario (I know, I’m a huge nerd). I love learning about how to best do physical assessment of a new client. I love discussing the antibiotics we can prescribe for blocked mammary glands. Additionally, the course load seems manageable right now. It’s still significant, and will take work everyday, but … it’s a nice new pace. Who knows how quickly that will change …
Naturally, now that I feel comfortable in the coursework, the program reminds us that our first, 4 month clinical placement starts in January.
To select your placement, you enter a lottery. Students pre-select 4 regions where they would like to be matched to a midwifery clinic. The lottery is run and you are allocated one of your four choices (hopefully; not always the case depending on how competitive your choices were. There are options if you don’t get any of your 4 choices, though). After we are placed, we shadow a midwife in his or her work for 4 months straight, practicing our clinical skills with supervision.
The giant life-ball began rolling last Thursday when we received an email noting placement information would be out Friday.
On Friday, we receive an email noting a delay of sorts, and that information would be out Monday. However, over the weekend, the information was cascaded without notice, and my classmates frantically began messaging each other trying to sort out where we want to be placed. The frantic panic comes from a typo in the document that says placement choices are due, “Friday, September 21”. You can see the problem here … no one knows if this actually means Monday, September 21 or Friday, September 25. Here’s hoping for Friday, because … I have questions!
Choosing a Region
Now. If you’re from Ontario, I think this is a fairly easy task. You’ve probably got family in the area, or have had time to get to know a region for what it is. But. If you’re from elsewhere, like me, this can be enormously frustrating. The names of the Ontario towns are hilarious and confusing and I can’t begin to tell you how much I’ve come to appreciate Google Maps. Take a gander at some of the city options:
Blink, blink. They might as well all be in the same place to me. All I know is Toronto, Ottawa, and Hamilton.
I’m leaning heavily on past student advice to make this decision, because I don’t have family anywhere in Ontario that I might be able to stay with (other than Hamilton, which is … where I live now). The senior students have graciously created and cascaded a beautiful placement spreadsheet that outlines details for each clinic taking students, so I will use that in combination with my new love, GoogleMaps, to fine-tune my choices.
So how am I going to select my 4 lottery choices?
I’m not sure yet, really. Here are some considerations going through my mind, though:
- Gemini and I don’t want to move, so Hamilton will be at the top of our list.
- I want to learn from a full-scope clinic (meaning they can manage clients with epidurals and inductions).
- A clinic with a decent home birth ratio would be nice.
- Preceptor reputation will play into my choice. There are positive recommendations from many senior students.
- Cost of moving will be a factor.
Wish me luck as I cement my choices this week … here we go guys, getting closer to catching babies!