Rosetta Stone: OB/GYN Edition

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ARLINGTON, VA – In an effort to boost sales, language software giant Rosetta Stone launches the first of a long line of medical language learning programs.  Each medical specialty has its own vernacular which is confusing to everyone not intimately associated with the practice of said specialty.  This is especially true for medical students as they spend a few weeks per specialty before moving on the the next foreign land.

The first specialty to get its own learning program is Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN). Bizarre lingo coupled with intimidating residents can make for a rough time.  Rosetta Stone aims to fix that with their new program.  Below are some sample translations of the software.  The main feature is that it provides a real, workable definition of common terms rather than the actual meanings, which can befuddle even the brightest gunner.

Gravida – How many times a woman has been pregnant, commonly referred to as a “G.”

Para – It’s like a summary of the results of the aforementioned “G’s,” there can be one, to multiple digits representing all possible outcomes of a pregnancy.  When asked a question about a patient’s “G’s and P’s” on rounds, you will forget what both stand for and look like a clown, we are unable to prevent this.

Pit’ – This is short for Pitocin, which is a brand name for oxytocin, a naturally occurring hormone in the body which is used to augment labor.  Residents are constantly heard asking the nurse to turn the “Pit’ up or down.”  The song “Turn Down for What” by DJ Snake/Lil John is in reference to a nurse inquiring as to why a resident desired to reduce the Pit’ dosage.

TOLAC – Trial of Labor After C-Section.  This is a lazy way of saying, “Well, let’s give it a whirl!”  It does NOT refer to nor rule out the patient having a literal toe lac’.

VBAC – Vaginal Birth After Cesarean.  This happens if the TOLAC is successful, further demonstrating the obstetricians love for acronyms.

Hyst’ – short for hysterectomy and not the past tense form of the sound a snake makes.

BTL – Bilateral Tubal Ligation.  This is very important, because if a resident instead is saying BLT, that means they want a bacon, lettuce, and tomato sandwich.  If said sandwich isn’t provided, they get nasty.

Any number of letters followed by ROM – The ROM part means rupture of membranes. The rest is less clear and often made up.  When asked if you know what they stand for, just make something up but it better be convincing.  If you pull it off right, you may have convinced the resident that’s what PPPPROM really stands for.

Ruptured with internals – The membranes have ruptured and fetal monitors are in place. It does not refer to a medicine conference that has exceeded capacity.

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