That Night I Got Stabbed In The Delivery Room

Rebecca Levy-Gantt
8 min readJan 15, 2022

Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash

When I did my residency, there was a team of three doctors who were on call overnight in the delivery room; a junior resident (first or second year), a senior resident (third or fourth year) and an attending physician. As in all residency programs, it was the residents who were responsible for all the day-to-day activities on the floor, and the attendings who had the last word. Attending physicians were ultimately responsible for all of the decisions, but their actual involvement in delivery room activities varied greatly, depending on the individual. Attending physicians at our hospital were in one of several categories: either they were full time academic staff at the hospital, and only worked there, teaching residents during the day, and continuing that in their on-call hours, or physicians from the community. If they were community physicians, they were doctors who had their own practices and worked sometimes with us at night, in the on-call schedule because they liked to continue to be involved with residents and students. There were also a few older physicians who had retired from medical practice but still wanted to teach or work with residents but outside of our hospital were no longer involved in any hands-on patient care.

One spring night, I was the junior resident on-call. It was the end of my second year of residency, so I had much delivery room experience already under my belt. On the call schedule that night with me was my senior resident, Dr M, who was a fourth year resident and about to graduate. I always felt comfortable with him on call, because not only did I feel he was very skilled, but he taught me a lot when we worked together. The attending that night was Dr C, an older, retired gentleman who I had come to know from his occasional nights on the on-call schedule. He was a very smart doctor and would often pull obscure details from his mind when we were working together, like “Did you know in the 1970’s, women were only ‘allowed’ to have a tubal ligation if the product of their age multiplied by the number of babies they had equaled more than 120?”

About 3 AM Dr M was called to the emergency room after a multi-vehicle accident had occurred on a nearby highway. Two of the passengers were pregnant and suffered some type of trauma in the…

Rebecca Levy-Gantt

An Ob Gyn in Napa California, who has been practicing for more than 25 years. Also a writer (blogger, memoirist, advisor, humorist). Author of Womb With A View