Dr. Mackenzie Naert, a first-year OB/GYN resident, explains her experience as a resident, which she describes as a fast-paced and collaborative environment. Plus, she and Dr. Fox discuss her background studying medical anthropology at Yale, the Humanities and Medicine program at Mount Sinai, and more.
“The Leap from Medical School to Internship: Is it Like Grey’s Anatomy?”
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Dr. Fox: Welcome to today’s episode of “Healthful Woman,” a podcast designed to explore topics in women’s health at all stages of life. I’m your host, Dr. Nathan Fox, an OB/GYN and maternal-fetal medicine specialist practicing in New York City. At “Healthful Woman,” I speak with leaders in the field to help you learn more about women’s health, pregnancy, and wellness.
All right. I’m here with Dr. Mackenzie Naert, who is a PGY1 or a first-year resident in obstetrics and gynecology at the Brigham, which is Brigham and Women’s, Mass General, or the Harvard of obstetrical residencies. Mackenzie, how you doing, my friend?
Dr. Naert: Hi, I’m good. Nice to talk to you again, Dr. Fox.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. And it’s so cute that you call me Dr. Fox. I love that. I know you’re all creeped-out by trying to use my first name because you’re a resident, but that’s okay. Don’t worry about it. I take it with affection. I am so excited, first of all, just to be talking to you because you left us, you ran away from New York and fled to Boston to avoid us. And we’re going to talk about that, and also obviously to, you know, catch up with you and to talk a little bit about residency and what it’s like to be an intern, and maybe COVID a little bit, and your world expertise in subchorionic hematomas and first trimester bleeding. So, good stuff.
Dr. Naert: Good stuff.
Dr. Fox: Excellent. So, Mackenzie, just so our listeners understand who you are, give us, you know, a little bit, who are you, where are you from, what’s your story?
Dr. Naert: I’m originally from Dallas, Texas, and I lived there through the end of high school. And then I went to Yale for college and I studied medical anthropology, which was really awesome and exciting before coming to Mount Sinai for medical school. And I came to Mount Sinai through a Humanities and Medicine program, which was awesome because I got to…instead of just taking, like, the pre-med classes, I got to take a lot of humanities classes in college. I got to study abroad in Kenya and learn a lot about public health and then got to come to medical school. And at Mount Sinai, I added a fifth year to medical school to get a master’s of science in clinical research, which was when I had the privilege of working with Dr. Fox for a year and doing a lot of awesome research. And during that time, I decided to apply into OB/GYN. And now, I am almost halfway through my intern year, so the first year of residency up in Boston, and it’s been a really great year. So, super exciting times to be learning to be a doctor.
Dr. Fox: What was your major at Yale? Was it the anthropology?
Dr. Naert: My major was medical anthropology.
Dr. Fox: Right. And so, just to go into a little deeper, the Humanities and Medicine, so it’s a really cool program at Sinai, and can you just explain what it is, what the program is?
Dr. Naert: The program is an early admission into medical school. So, most people apply to medical school their senior year of college, or, you know, often people take a year or two off and apply then. But through the HuMed program, Humanities and Medicine, I was able to apply during the beginning of my sophomore year and know that I was accepted at that point. And what it did for me was really just opened up a lot of potential and opportunities during college to take classes that I otherwise might not have had time to take and also to study abroad, which can be difficult for students following the strict pre-med curriculum. And the idea behind the program is that, you know, it takes a lot to be a good doctor, and a good doctor is not just someone who excelled in science classes but also has, you know, a broader understanding of literature and history and the social sciences. And so, the program really tries to foster that curiosity and that interest and create holistic humanistic physicians, which is what I am trying to be.
Dr. Fox: And you don’t have to take all the pre-med classes in college. Like, you don’t have to do the organic chemistry and physics and biology, right?
Dr. Naert: Exactly. So, we have to take some of them to have, you know, some basic understanding of the sciences, but I didn’t have to take a full year of organic chemistry. I didn’t have to take any physics. And then they encourage us to take another language, to study abroad, and to sort of develop some of those other skills that contribute to being a physician.
Dr. Fox: It’s a super competitive program. It’s very hard to get into because I mean, you could imagine being accepted into medical school when you’re in your second year of college is just awesome because there’s so much stress for people who want to get into medical school because it’s so hard to get in. So, if you know you’re in, that’s great, number one. Number two, Sinai has a great medical school. And number three, like you said, you don’t feel all the pressure to study all the time for your MCATs, you know, that extra test, or to take science class. Now, if you want to be a science major, you can be. But I mean, this was around, you know, 100 years ago when I was at medical school at Mount Sinai and it was fairly new at that time, but our class valedictorian was a music major from Williams.
I mean, you know, you’re talking about liberal arts education and it’s totally true that there’s so much, you know, about being a doctor and being in medicine that’s completely unrelated to science. I mean, and you learn in medical school the science you need to know. I mean, there’s a ton of that in medical school, but you want people who have, you know, some understanding of the world and people and how to interact and how to understand and think. And it’s also the reason frequently Mount Sinai and other medical schools really like when students take off time after college, like live in the world a little bit, and then come back to medical school so they get more, you know, adults so to speak.
Dr. Naert: Totally.
Dr. Fox: So, then at Mount Sinai, there you are, you’re a superstar medical student. And what was it that led you to do that extra year of research?
Dr. Naert: I was a humanities major in college. I did anthropology research, which is completely different from the basic science research that a lot of people do or from clinical research. And when I started at Mount Sinai, I got connected with actually a mentor in the cardiology department who was doing some really cool translational research in Kenya. And I spent my first summer doing research in Kenya looking at innovative models for care for cardiovascular disease in rural areas. And this was, sort of, the first thing that made me think like, oh, research is really cool and it’s not just people doing things in labs, but you know, there’s actually research that has real, profound implications for patients and health systems.
You know, I was sort of trying to figure out what is the best way to get more training in this field since people who do basic science research often get formal training like Ph.D.s, but a lot of doctors do clinical research without this formal training, or they get training later in their career, for example, during a fellowship. And so, I wanted to be able to create and design meaningful clinical research in medical school and in residency. And so, that’s why I was so excited that Sinai has this program called PORTAL, which stands for patient-oriented research, training, and leadership.
Dr. Fox: I didn’t know it was an acronym. I had no idea. All these years. All right, here we go. We’re learning. Okay.
Dr. Naert: Exactly. Always learning. And the program is partially funded by the NIH and supports 5 to 10 students a year to pursue a master’s of science in clinical research. So, we’re taking coursework all the while working with research mentors for an entire year. And, you know, during medical school and residency, there’s sort of so many competing demands to, you know, take classes and volunteer, and in residency, of course, to do pretty intense clinical work. So, I sort of saw this opportunity as almost a once in a lifetime chance to really learn how to be a researcher. I was super excited to get into the program and even more excited when Dr. Fox agreed to be my research mentor for the year.
Dr. Fox: You’ll learn how to do research from me.
Dr. Naert: I absolutely did.
Dr. Fox: But you learn what to order for breakfast and, you know, you learn a lot of jokes. Yeah, no, it was just fun.
Dr. Naert: Yeah. [inaudible 00:07:45] Yeah. And we had a really great year.
Dr. Fox: Mackenzie’s being quite humble. She crushed it. It was unbelievable. I mean, you published like a thousand things. You did research, like, on the level beyond. And for everyone who’s listening, sorta like, is this person real, like who goes to Kenya and does research and goes to medical school and, you know, is thoughtful and smart and accomplished? And the answer’s yes, you are real. And if the second question people are thinking is, wow, she’s so much smarter than Fox is, the answer is yes. I would not even get into medical school nowadays because people like you would bump me out. So, I’m happy to be older than you because at least I had my chance to get into medical school. But yet, it is really cool programming to take off a year and do clinical research. It’s not…you know, when you do a Ph.D., it’s an extra like five years and that’s a really serious commitment.
And it’s mostly, you know, lab…like, benchwork, like doing real laboratory stuff. And, you know, and people can do that for a year, but yours is really clinical. I mean, Mackenzie is, you know, in our office every day and you got to, you know, see our patients and sit in on our clinical meetings and we do clinical research. And Mackenzie was also amazing at recruiting others to work for her. You had a whole cadre of medical students, you know, behind you who were doing research for you. It was quite the pyramid scheme you had going on there. What brought you to obstetrics and gynecology? How did you make that decision to go into that field?
Dr. Naert: There were really a lot of different things that sort of contributed to…first, my interest in women’s health, and then more specifically, in being an OB/GYN because, you know, there’s so many different ways to be a women’s healthcare provider. And, you know, I think it actually started, I took a year off in between high school and college. And during this year, I spent a substantial portion, about four months, working actually in Switzerland, the World Girl Scout Center. So, I was a Girl Scout all the way through high school, got my Gold Award. And then, you know, took the opportunity to volunteer at the center in Switzerland. And one of the projects that I was working on, in addition to leading hiking trips in the Alps for groups of girls and their moms who would come to stay at the center, we also were working on promoting the millennium development goals. And the goal that I was specifically assigned was the millennium development goal to improve maternal health.
And, you know, working at the center, a lot of the programming that I was doing was aiming towards teaching, you know, girls anywhere from 5 through high school about maternal health through different projects and crafts and “Jeopardy” nights and hosting speakers. And I think that was, sort of, my first deep delve into maternal health and one of the things that, sort of, sparked the initial interest. And then in college, as a medical anthropology major, I took a lot of classes about women’s health and specifically about the intersectionality in women’s health. And I got really interested in how, sort of, the intersections of race and class and gender and other axes of oppression, you know, impacted a woman’s ability to seek and get medical care in the United States and also, you know, on an international level.
And so, I think coming into medical school, I already had these ideas that this might be something that I was interested in. And then it was really once I got onto my clinical rotations during the third year of medical school, working at Elmhurst Hospital on labor and delivery that I realized like, wow, this is something that I really love. I love the day to day, the variety, the pace, and you know, more than anything, I just really love the patients. Love working with women. And I think one thing that’s so cool about OB/GYN is that the ability and importance of being an advocate for women is really something inherent to the field, it’s not something I have to seek out or do outside of work. It’s just every day in every patient interaction, you know, I’m able to stand up for women and help them achieve their best health. And I just find that endlessly rewarding.
Dr. Fox: That’s really cool. And how do you think your experience in terms of research is going to play into that? You’re referring to, you know, women’s health and, sort of, caring for them, but what are you thinking in terms of your future with research?
Dr. Naert: That’s a great question. I think…
Dr. Fox: Thank you.
Dr. Naert: Yeah, good joke. One of the things I love about research and one of the things I love specifically about the research I did with you is that we always started with a clinical question. For example, you know, the research that I did on my research year regarding subchorionic hematomas all came out of a clinical question, and thinking about, you know, patients are often diagnosed with subchorionic hematomas and, you know, there’s just not great data on the outcomes. And so, I think my career as a physician and a researcher, I’m going to continue to, you know, identify clinical questions that come up that my patients are wondering, that I’m wondering, that my colleagues are wondering, and figure out the best way to answer those questions. So, I think, you know, research is just going to be inherently a part of the way that I practice as a physician.
Dr. Fox: I love that attitude. Obviously, you know, that I…totally I’m on board with that. It’s so interesting because the world was often divided in medicine between people who do research and people who take care of patients. And way, way back, you know, before I was in medical school, they were the same people, right? The doctors who saw patients are the ones who did the research, and then over time, they got separated. I guess there was finances involved because, you know, to do research, you don’t get paid to do research typically. So, you know, if people are spending less time seeing patients and then as the finances of medicine changed and you know, we weren’t making big bucks anymore, you know, someone really couldn’t afford to work only two days a week and do research three days a week or a department couldn’t pay someone to see patients three days a week and do research two days a week.
And so, in order to do research, you had to get funding whether from the government, from the NIH, or from private funders. And to do that, the process is so hard. I mean, to apply for it because it’s competitive and so people who do it, essentially do it full-time. So, there was this division, but it’s really not how it’s supposed to be. Because like you said, the people doing the research should also be the people asking the questions because you see the patients, you see what the conundrum is, you see what we don’t know, you see where the gaps are, and you’re like, “How do we fill in those gaps?” And there are places that do really good clinical care and really good research, but they’re hard to find. And they’re few and far between in the world and certainly in our country.
And so, for those of us who are really interested in it, we just sort of do it as a part of our practice. I don’t get paid to do research. I don’t get any, you know, awards or bonuses, like whatever, we do it because I like it. You know, just like I like to do a lot of things and I try to do them. And I think that that’s a really good attitude that you have because you’re doing a very clinical field, but just having that passion for research and asking questions and trying to get answers and then learning, sort of, how to do that, sort of, systematically so it’s done in a way that actually answers the questions for people or best answers it, I think it’s awesome. And I think you did learn a lot during that year. I saw how much you learned in that year.
Dr. Naert: Yeah. Totally.
Dr. Fox: And you came in, like, super, super smart, and then you came out super, super, super smart. So, tell me about your residency. How has the internship been?
Dr. Naert: Residency has been great. I’m currently in the middle of my fifth block. So, I’ve had a few different blocks on labor and delivery, a block on gynecology, and I’m currently on an internal medicine rotation to, sort of, broaden my medical knowledge. And it’s definitely been, you know, a very steep learning curve going from being a medical student to being a doctor but I feel so lucky to be at my program. I think learning in an environment that just really supports teaching and learning and is so supportive both from the level of the other residents and the faculty has been really optimal. And I love Sinai so much, but I must say, I can’t imagine being anywhere else than my program.
Dr. Fox: Well, you better say that because the next three-and-a-half years, they have complete control over you.
Dr. Naert: Yeah. Exactly.
Dr. Fox: You don’t want them coming, “I heard you on that podcast.”
Dr. Naert: Exactly. But it’s been great. It’s honestly been really fun. I think that’s one of the things that’s so great about labor and delivery is, you know, when you’re on the labor floor, you’re pushing with a patient, coaching her, and, you know, running back to a C-section, and seeing patients in triage. And it’s very fast-paced, which keeps it exciting, you know, even 12, 13, 14-hour days seem to fly by. And it’s so hands-on, I love getting to learn how to get better at vaginal deliveries and all the things associated with working in obstetrics. And I also just really love that it’s so team-oriented and it’s been really awesome working with other interns and my senior residents and, you know, everyone from the labor and delivery nurses who are super-duper amazing and have a lot to teach us as interns, as well as the scrub techs, everyone really just works together to provide the best care for the patient. So, it’s just been really awesome working in such a collaborative environment. It’s been really, really cool.
Dr. Fox: How have you adjusted to the workload? Internship is, you know, a thousand times harder than medical school. How has that been for you?
Dr. Naert: That’s an interesting question. I think, you know, now that I’m a few months into the year, I feel much more settled, but it definitely is, sort of, a new normal. I feel like when you are in medical school, you feel like, you know, “Oh, I’m working a lot,” you know, first and second year when you’re in your classes. And then you get to third year and you’re on the wards and you’re like, “Wow, I’m working more than I was working before.” Like, you know, “I didn’t know I could work this much.” And then you go to fourth year where you just get a big break and are applying for residency and traveling and, you know, doing research, spending time with family. And then you start internship and once again, you’re like, “Wow, I didn’t realize I could work this much.”
The things that contribute to wellness in residency are support systems. And I feel really lucky to have an amazing support system with my family and my husband as well as with my co-interns. So, I think that’s been really great. Living in Boston has been fun. Although of course, being in a COVID era, I haven’t gotten to do too much in Boston. I’m excited for when things open up because I think I’ll really like living in this city and yeah, just spending time with people outside of the hospital. And I think, sort of, building those personal relationships, I think is one of the ways that that helps me the most in terms of just my personal resilience and, you know, coping with working a lot.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. I mean, as an intern and as a resident, you’re working about 80 hours a week typically, right?
Dr. Naert: Exactly. Yeah.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. If you do the math, that’s basically Monday through Friday, 12-hour days, which are long, and then pretty much every weekend you’re going to work a day. So, it averages out obviously over a month or whatever it is, but it’s a lot of time and it’s physically taxing and that’s, you know, a lot of people…I wouldn’t say a lot. Many people have a difficult time transitioning to that, but I would say that’s actually not the part of residency that really gets people, the hours. Because you know, everyone else is doing it. You sort of get used to it and, you know, your body adapts and you adjust. And also the fields are selective, you know, when you go into OB, you know that you’re going to have long hours like that and other fields…I mean, no residencies are, like, easy, but you know…If you’re in a field where most of the work is outpatient, you know, an office, a clinic is typically only open 9 to 5, so how long could your day be, right? And so, you know, whatever, you may come in a little early, you may stay a little late, but when you’re, you know, operating, you’re on the labor floor, or emergency room, and things like that are known to have longer hours.
The thing that usually gets people that really is biggest shock is this terror that you don’t know anything. And you’re like, “Oh my God, I’m taking care of people and I don’t know anything.” You know, and you obviously do know a lot, but there’s always that fear that maybe I don’t know enough. And how have you adapted to that? So, you know, you’re six months into it, you’re a doctor, you’re taking care of people. You know, obviously, your supervisors, there are people helping you, but just, you know, in that right in the moment, like, “What if I don’t know what I’m doing? What if I get it wrong?” How have you been adjusting to that?
Dr. Naert: You know, that’s one of the biggest fears that I think we all come into residency with. You know, one day you’re in medical school and, you know, you’re not really expected to know anything, and then normally you walk across the stage and graduate from medical school. In this case, you know, you log onto Zoom and finish medical school, you’re suddenly a doctor and, you know, nothing happened in that time period to make you more prepared to take care of patients. One of the things that was most comforting for me coming into residency was that the residents and our program director, you know, told us time and time again, like, “You are not expected to know anything. You can ask any question. There’s no such thing as a silly question.” And I think, you know, that’s been really comforting to just feel like I’m in an environment where, you know, I can say, “Hey, you know, I know we did this yesterday, but you know, I can’t remember how to do this or, you know, what to do for this condition.” And people are so, so willing to help me.
So, I think just, sort of, having that comfort in knowing I’ll be supported and helped all the time as needed has been really comforting. But I think, you know, there definitely is what you talk about. There are certain scenarios where there’s not someone else around and it’s just me and, of course, you know, there’s always people to call for help, but sometimes you are the first person, you know, to a hemorrhage or to evaluate a patient with severe range blood pressures. And I think in those times, you know, you really just have to rely on the fact that like, you know, “I’m a doctor. I might not feel like I know things, but I do know things.” At this point, I’ve been doing this for several months and, you know, I probably do know what to do. You know, I can probably at least take the first few steps that are needed to help the sick patient.
And I think just, sort of, relying on that background and just, sort of, trying to be confident and act quickly and, of course, always ask for help when needed has been what’s helped me with those situations. But I think that’s one of the things that is challenging about residency is, you know, you sort of get comfortable doing things at an intern level and then you become a second year and you have, you know, greater responsibility and you’re the person that the intern is looking to for help. And then, of course, that responsibility just increases more as a third-year and as a fourth-year chief resident. And I think, you know, you’re never going to be comfortable. And I think it’s really about learning to function well and really thrive in that gray zone where you’re not…you know, some people call it like your challenge zone. You’re not so comfortable that things are easy, but you know, you’re not doing something that you’re really drastically unprepared to handle. And just by learning to be more comfortable in that challenge zone, which I think is something that I’ve been doing over the course of the year and will hopefully continue to do as the years end, as the years go on is really one of the most important things in medical training.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. I mean, it’s so interesting that what you said, it’s so true when you’re an intern. And I remember when I was an intern, one of the things that, sort of, relieved my terror is you look at the chief residents who are three years ahead of me, right, they’re three years. And I’m like, “They know everything.” I was like, “Oh my God.” Like, you know, the difference between what I can do and what they can do is so vast, and it’s actually more comforting than it is scary, like they got there in three years. And then you start realizing how quickly you learn things. And it’s the same thing like when…you know, I look at it from the attending side now, and I look at the chief residents and I think of what they were like just a few years ago as interns, I’m like, “Oh my God, they know like a million times more than they did then.” And it’s just because the learning curve is so steep and, you know, listen, when you’re a second year, that’s when it changes from people actually asking you your opinion. That’s one of the most amazing things like, you know, because your second year, you go to the emergency room they’re like, “Hey, what do you think we should do?” And you’re like, “Why are you asking me?” They’re like, “You’re the OB/GYN.” You’re like, “Oh my God, I am.” Wait, wait, what do I think?
And you know, this type of idea and these conversations sometimes scare people who are going to be patients, and they’re thinking, “I can’t believe there’s these residents running around.” And you know, Milka [SP] and I did a whole podcast on this about residents and it’s actually the opposite because, yeah, if Mackenzie is the only person on earth who’s going to take care of you during your pregnancy, you’ll probably do fine. But yeah, you don’t know, you know, and you’re still learning and that might be an issue, but it’s not how it works. What happens is, you know, if there’s an issue, Mackenzie shows up within like 12 seconds. And so, you’re the first person on the scene and, you know, you sort of manage it to the point that you know, and then the next person comes and then the next person. So, it ends up happening as a system is people get really good care in the hospitals where there’s medical students and residents and fellows and people training because there’s so many more people around than in a community hospital. And they’re just going, you know, up the ladder, so to speak, the entire time. And so, patients get a ton of attention. Everyone’s seeing patients.
Dr. Naert: Absolutely.
Dr. Fox: And so, I’ve always felt that, you know, I’d be very comfortable to be admitted, you know, if I were sick…I don’t want to be admitted to a hospital, but if I needed to be. You know, listen, my kids were born at Mount Sinai and the residents were involved and medical students were involved, and great. Like, it is a good system, but when you’re in it, it can be a little harrowing. How has it been like with you and the nurses? That’s a whole other dynamic, the residents and the nurses. I mean, everyone loves you. So, I assume you’ve had a good rapport with them.
Dr. Naert: Yeah. No, it’s actually been great. I think the nurses at both of our hospitals really take a very proactive role in teaching residents. And I think it’s a source of pride for them to be able to teach us and contribute to our education. One of my earliest memories of working with a nurse on labor and delivery was probably like the end of my first week. I was coaching a patient who, you know, was having some difficulty with, sort of, getting pushing down and, you know, I was coaching her and just sort of saying the things that I’ve heard other people say and, you know, sort of trying to be encouraging, but also, you know, pretty emphatic with my like, you know, “Push, push.” And I remember after the delivery, her nurse pulled me to the side and was like, “Hey, like, can I give you a few tips on pushing?” You know, coaching the patients on pushing. And I was like, “Oh yes, please. That would be great.” And, you know, she gave me some tips sort of to like, sort of, switch off with the more like, “Push, push,” to more, “You’re doing great.” Make sure to be appropriately encouraging and, you know, tough.
And maybe a month later I had another delivery with that same nurse as my labor nurse. And after, she pulled me inside and said, “Oh my gosh, Mackenzie, that was so much better than the first time.” And I said, “Well, thanks.” You know, “Largely due to you giving me those tips early on.” So, I think it’s been really great. I feel like we have a really great relationship with the nurses and it’s been awesome just to, sort of, feel like I’m on a team with them, especially on a very busy labor floor. You know, it’s nice to have someone come and say, “Hey, Mackenzie, like, you said you were going to check my patient around now, is this a good time for you?” And you know, maybe it would have slipped my mind for that moment, and I’ll say, “Yeah, absolutely, like let’s go check your patient.” It’s actually been really positive and really awesome. And I feel like we’re really lucky at our hospital to have that sort of relationship with the nurses.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. I think residents who fail frequently, it’s because they don’t know how to get along with nurses and, for whatever reason, they don’t appreciate what they’re doing or they just never really grasp that idea that they’re part of the team. And they’re typically…it’s like a disaster, you know, the nurse is like, “Oh, I don’t like that resident.” It’s like…and then because then it spreads like wildfire because, you know, the nurses are like a community. And so, if you, you know, upset one part of the community, you are out. Especially on the labor floor, it’s like intensive care unit type nurses. I mean, it is really hardcore on the labor floor. You know, emergencies happen, you know, you have to be quick on your feet. You have to know how to talk to people. You have to know how to act.
I mean, with nursing that the skills are so acute and they’re so impressive for people, you know, who do labor nursing and the experienced ones, I mean, they’re really, really sharp and they’re amazing and they have so much experience. And so, the attitude that you have, like, “Yeah, like, please teach me, help me,” first of all, it’ll help you because they’ll teach you a ton. And second, it’ll help you because they’ll appreciate you because they know that you know you have some humility and that’s key. I mean, as you should. I mean, you don’t know a lot, you haven’t been on the labor floor for 10, 20 years and so…
Dr. Naert: Oh, yeah.
Dr. Fox: And I mean, I love labor nurses. It’s such an interesting group of people. In every hospital, they have their own group. It’s just an impressive job.
Dr. Naert: Totally.
Dr. Fox: It is not easy being a labor nurse. It is really hard work.
Dr. Naert: No, it’s not at all. It’s so hard. And I think…yeah, especially, I recently had a night rotation at MGH and the group of night nurses, they’re just so awesome. I feel like, you know, they kind of had a crew, the night chief resident and I who are on at night sort of got to be part of that crew and we’d order ice cream and order Cheesecake Factory and, you know, tell stories. And it just made for a really fun time when, you know, working nights can be challenging just from a life perspective, you have to sleep during the day. It’s a little bit crazy. For us, we do five-week blocks and as an intern, you’re working six nights a week. So, you’re you know, pretty much living at the hospital on the labor floor. So, it just made it so much better to feel like, you know, I was excited to go to work and see the nurses and hear about their kids and, you know, talk about that crazy delivery we had the night before. And it just makes for a really awesome working environment when you have that relationship.
Dr. Fox: Now, the question I want to ask you because this is definitely what my kids would want to ask you is how similar is internship as it seems on “Grey’s Anatomy?” Is it the same, is it different?
Dr. Naert: I do love “Grey’s Anatomy,” but I haven’t watched it in a long time. But I remember when I watched it in college being terrified at how the interns got to do and how unsupervised they were.
Dr. Fox: You’re not doing any unsupervised open-heart surgery in an elevator, that’s not what you do?
Dr. Naert: Exactly. Exactly. No. You know, occasionally, you know, you’ll have a delivery when the attending and the chief resident run in just in the nick of time and you’re thinking, “Oh, I might get to do this delivery totally by myself,” but that has not yet happened for me. Can’t say we have as much romance and drama in my residency as they do [crosstalk 00:30:05].
Dr. Fox: I was just gonna say that. I was just saying in most residencies, they frown upon the interns and their supervising attendings and department chiefs, like, you know, going away together and dating. And that’s generally frowned upon in the workforce. You know, it was founded upon then too, it wasn’t that long ago, but somehow the show made it seem like, oh yeah, the head of the department is with the intern and they’re…oh my God. I was like, really, if that happened, there would be a serious scandal going on.
Dr. Naert: Yeah. I know.
Dr. Fox: Amazing. So, this is exciting. So, are you thinking…now that you’ve had your taste of OB/GYN, are you thinking about doing a fellowship or do you not want to say that recorded? You don’t want to be tied to it?
Dr. Naert: Yeah. You know, I would say at this point I’m still pretty open-minded. I, of course, love maternal-fetal medicine.
Dr. Fox: You better.
Dr. Naert: And I also love pediatric gynecology. You know, I spent two weeks doing an REI elective at the end of my fourth year at Mount Sinai over at RMA. And that was super-awesome too. So, I think, you know, any of those fellowships would be amazing. And I can also see a lot of benefits, you know, to being a generalist and, sort of, getting to take care of the full gamut of patients. So, we shall see.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. Whatever you do, gotta make sure that it’s compatible with working with us in our office because we’re bringing you back from Boston. You know, listen, we already have Mackenzie day in the office.
Dr. Naert: Oh, there we go.
Dr. Fox: Yeah. So, in June, you know, that’s your day, Mackenzie day. We made shirts and everything. Maybe I’ll put a picture of that on the website. Oh, I can find that. All right. I got it. Wow. So, Mackenzie, this is great. I’m going to have you on again to talk about actual…the topic of subchorionic hematomas and vaginal bleeding.
Dr. Naert: Awesome.
Dr. Fox: But thanks for coming on the podcast. You know, I’ll speak to you again right away.
Dr. Naert: Sounds good.
Dr. Fox: Thank you for listening to the “Healthful Woman” podcast. To learn more about our podcast, please visit our website at www.healthfulwoman.com. That’s healthfulwoman.com. If you have any questions about this podcast or any other topic you would like us to address, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day.
The information discussed in “Healthful Woman” is intended for educational uses only. It does not replace medical care from your physician. “Healthful Woman” is meant to expand your knowledge of women’s health and does not replace ongoing care from your regular physician or gynecologist. We encourage you to speak with your doctor about specific diagnoses and treatment options for an effective treatment plan.