Pictured: Emily Kraft on her first day of residency at Jacobi Medical Center.
Just three months into her first year as a pediatrics resident at Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx, N.Y., Emily Kraft (D.O. ’23) has quickly grown to expect the unexpected. That was particularly relevant on October 28 when Kraft was quickly called into action.
Kraft, who graduated from NYITCOM-Arkansas in May, was leaving the hospital at the end of her shift to head to a Halloween party when she encountered a woman in distress.
“I was walking out the door when I saw a woman who was screaming in excruciating pain,” Kraft said. “She told me, ‘I’m having a baby, NOW!’ There was no one else around, so I jumped into action.”
With the help of a transport staff member, Kraft got the woman in an elevator to take her to labor and delivery, but by the time the doors shut, there was no waiting.
While pediatricians are trained to care for babies from the moment of birth, their education doesn’t include obstetrics. Kraft had to quickly recall the experiences she received during her obstetrics/gynecology (OB/GYN) rotation with Greg Wood, M.D., in Little Rock, Ark., during her third year of medical school at NYITCOM.
“It was far from ideal,” Kraft says. “I had no tools. Fortunately, there was a nurse in the elevator. She handed me a pair of clean gloves, and I went to work.”
Moments later, Kraft was holding a healthy baby boy. She completed the delivery and stimulated the baby to get him breathing. They eventually made it to the emergency room and let the attending physicians take things from there.
“I gained that invaluable experience of delivering babies during my OB/GYN rotation, and I’m very fortunate there were no complications,” Kraft says. “It was a textbook delivery. Thankfully, everything went just the way it’s supposed to.”
NYITCOM-Arkansas intentionally structures its clinical rotations in a manner that allows its students to be part of the care team rather than simply watching and observing. Throughout her intern year, Kraft, who was president of the NYITCOM-Arkansas Class of 2023, said she’s benefitted greatly from the experiences she had in medical school.
“I definitely felt more prepared for residency because of the hands-on learning I received, and not all schools are able to provide that,” Kraft says. “Not just with this spontaneous delivery experience, but all around.”
Kraft eventually donned her hobbit costume and made it to the party, albeit a little late. She’s been flattered with recognition from hospital faculty and staff and is grateful to experience such a unique opportunity to care for a patient in need.
“You never know what a day in the hospital is going to bring you,” Kraft says. “Sometimes you really don’t know. I’m just thankful that I was ready and able to help.”
By Casey Pearce