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Jan 25, 2010

Decisions

I’ve been on OB and absolutely working my little tail off. It has slowed down a bit these last few days, but that still involved several overnight calls and an unrelated but still formidable viral illness that nearly killed me (but I still went to work and just washed my hands a lot). I think that I still want to be an OB/GYN when I grow up but this rotation has actually challenged that position more than I would have liked. I see how grumpy and tired I am after just a few weeks of this and very much feel the need to justify this career choice to myself and my family before making it, especially since it is not the euphoria that I expected.

Pro: I love taking care of women.
Con: Damn, that’s a lot of estrogen.

Pro: Delivering babies is incredible.
Con: Delivering babies is terrifying, smelly, and hazardous to your shoes.

Pro: You get to operate!
Con: You have to operate.

Pro: Almost all of the patients are otherwise healthy and just need you to stand there and catch the baby.
Con: It doesn’t always go that way and that is absolutely devastating.

Pro: There is often free food in the middle of the night.
Con: You awake in the middle of the night kind of a lot.

Pro: You get some great stories to tell.
Con: You never get to tell them to anyone but other medical people since you’re always at work.
This is going to take a flowchart and a spreadsheet, I think.

5 Readers rock!:

Sarah said...

family medicine....Family Medicine....FAMILY MEDICINE!

Women's health, deliveries, surgery only if you want, variation from women, still get to do peds, it isn't all CHF exacerbation and COPD...

i'm biased

Beth said...

I'm a wee tad biased as a pediatrician (I have a kick-ass job) but I'll impart upon you some advice I received as a 3rd year med student from one of our pediatric endocrinologists:

"Pick the thing where the day-to-day crap bothers you the least."

I was in your shoes not all that long ago. I was back and forth between peds and surgery. I loved peds - working with families, fun doctors and nurses, and great lifestyle. I loved surgery - being in the OR, fixing things. I was really torn between the two and was having bad anxiety over it. One night as I was going to bed, I decided I needed to complete the sentence: When I grow up, I am going to be a _____________.

I filled the blank in with pediatrician. And I haven't looked back. No regrets.

Best of luck in your decision, whatever it may be.

Anonymous said...

The bad news: in residency you will have tons of call, no matter what specialty. You'll be fatigued and every few days ask yourself what the hell you were thinking. The good news: As a med student/resident the amount you do does not need to be representative of what your eventual job is like. So...don't shy away from a field bc of the call. You can join a big group where you back up midwives, or only take call once a week or more if it is larger, or be a laborist and do pure shift work, or focus mostly on GYN and have more predictable hours. OBGYN is very flexible. It is very hard when you are in the midst of an 80hr week to want to choose to do ANYTHING for that many hours ;) Step away from it when you get some time off or move on to a different rotation, and see what a clear mind tells you! -an OB Res who completely understands!

Anonymous said...

Pro: OB/GYN is a specialty where you can do surgery but you don't have to be in the "good ole boys' club."
Con: If you wanted to be in the club, you're screwed.

Pro: You'll most likely be working (with mostly women) in a practice that is understanding of the demands of the family/worklife balance. This means more shared call, and part time work opportunities if you so choose.
Con: Oh, wait. None.

Dragonfly said...

Those decisions can be so hard. Good luck with it :-)