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Pregnancy and Gross Anatomy

Discussion in 'Medical Students - MD' started by sisu1, Jun 14, 2002.

  1. sisu1

    sisu1 New Member

    Mar 1, 2002
    Hi, all.

    I am pg and was originally planning to defer school for one year ... however, my school indicated a willingness to be flexible with my schedule so I just started school. Gross anatomy starts soon and I asked my MD about exposure to formaldehyde. Long and short of it is results are inconclusive. Gross Lab policy is NO pg females allowed in lab due to fact that there has been some correlation between congenital anomalies and exposure to phenolic substances. One, I would have thought that the school would have mentioned this to me. Two, if I can bring exposure risk down to a minimal level (i.e. using a hepa respirator, double gloving, using special gown) I think I'd consider going forward. I find it hard to believe that there aren't pg morticians, pathologists, med. students, etc. Anyone have any ideas about how this can work? Thanks.
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  3. jlw2004

    jlw2004 Member 7+ Year Member

    Jan 3, 2002
    philly area
    One of our first years was pregnant this year and completed gross lab. She wore a respirator when she was in the lab (we ALL double gloved to keep away as much stink as possible). I know that a few years ago, our full time anatomy lab worker was pregnant and she worked the whole time. I would recommend finding out exactly what chemicals are used for cadaver preservation in your school's lab, get the MSDS for them and with your OB, make an informed decision by that. Your school may have that policy due to fear of being sued rather than any real need for it. CYA is the rule of the day.

    Congrats on both med school and impending motherhood!
  4. judy

    judy Junior Member

    May 14, 2002
    East Coast
    Hi Sisu,

    I'm also pregnant and starting school this August. You said that you have just started school, what do you mean? Is it possible to begin some classes so that we won't be behind? I would really like to know because I'm due in late August and it's been stressful thinking about the delivery (and post-delivery, nursing, etc.) and starting school. I also thought about deferring a year, but I think that there would be other equally important responsibilities a year later.

    P.S. you should also inquire about the chemicals in anatomy and whether it would be harmful if you were going to nurse.

    Good luck
  5. spacecadet

    spacecadet Senior Member 7+ Year Member

    Jul 2, 2001
    Houston, TX
    Hi Sisu,

    I'm pregnant and due in October. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it), the school where I'm accepted was totally INflexible about leave during the fall. So, I had to defer until next year. That's ok - it will be nice to have that time with my new baby without a ton of stress. Although waiting another year is definitely frustrating!

    I had to defer because if I missed any exams (say, for the delivery) I wouldn't have been able to make them up - and there is a set of exams scheduled right around my due date.

    It's good that your school is flexible. I suppose by now you have your gross anatomy thing figured out? Seems like a respirator and gloves should work, and you can try to avoid touching the cadaver.

    Congratulations on starting med school and on your baby! I was thinking I was the only one silly enough to get pregnant during the application cycle. :)
  6. Iron Horse

    Iron Horse The luckiest man 7+ Year Member

    Apr 1, 2002
    The Stadium
    Definitely check with your dean of students to see what they can do for you. I know an older student who had her first baby in late fall and was able to schedule around it with assistance from the school.

    With regard to exposure why not explore computer aided options just to be safe?
  7. southerndoc

    southerndoc life is good Physician Moderator Emeritus Lifetime Donor Classifieds Approved 10+ Year Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    Definitely check to see what preservative your lab uses. Our anatomy profs told us what they used, and it wasn't formaldehyde. It was some derivative of formaldehyde that was supposedly less toxic.

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