Thank you all so very much. I am still clueless and will be doing an acting internship in the MICU and in OB/GYN. There is so much that appeals to me about both. I lean towards OB/GYN because I love surgery, but I love the huge differentials I created while in the ICU, both are fast paced in the decision making and both are incredibly exciting. I think hours and salary are equivocal for both, ultimately I think I am just going to have to decide which I can't live without.
I was a physical therapist before going back to medical school, and I went back to school for the express purpose of becoming a rehab medicine specialist. All that changed when I did my third-year med school rotation in ObGyn. I delivered a few babies in a busy residency program where the residents didn't care what the students did (as long as we did all their paperwork, too). I NEVER looked back. I did three electives in Ob and Gyn in my fourth year of medical school, and now, after 15 years, I am one of those docs who thinks Ob is my "calling". I still love it, and STILL tear up sometimes when handing over that new baby. This specialty needs more people doing it because they love it....because it is Not the kind of thing where we can count on getting rich!!!
I am finishing my third year of private practice in OB-Gyn. I absolutely love what I do and enjoy my practice. I have two young children and have been able to balance my family and practice fairly well. I was scared of ob at first because of the hours, but I fell for the thought that I could make my practice what I wanted. I have learned that is possible, but you may have some heartache in getting htere. I practiced in one location for a year and was unable to find that balance....I was never home and my daughter didnt know her mom. I kept my priorities, realized a change was necessary, and made the move. I joined a new group, making it a group of 6. Call every 6th weekend, and essentially once a week. Post call day off and 3 days of clinic. I deliver about 85% of my patients' babies...those I miss are generally when I am out of town. I am very involved with my family, taking my children to school everyday except my call day and being home by supper almost everyday except call. I have had to maintain my balance and enjoy my job, but it is not always easy. Every so often, I have to do checks and balance to ensure everything is in line...it is easy to slip in prioriteis, as their are always more patients you can see and more you can do at work.....you ahve to find limits....No amount of money or professional satisfaction can replace being a mommy and being there to wake your kiddos up in the morning and to tuck them in a night. I feel I am living the dream most days!
mommyob and rlbobg- do you mind answering some questions, please. how many hours a week do you work?
when you are on call, are you typically up all night, or do you usually get some sleep? I know call nights vary, but what is the norm?
also- what do you do if you are on call at night and a pt needs a c-section... do you have to call another OB?
finally, how many weeks of vacation do you get a year?
I'm a fourth year med student who has been very discouraged by everything I've heard about OBgyn as a specialty, but am surprised to hear some positive input here. I went to med school thinking I would do obgyn and have had a hard time choosing another specialty. would love answers!
Sorry, I am not the individuals you wanted to communicate with, but I'm an ob/gyn and thought i could answer some of your questions if that's okay with you.
Regarding call, most of the time I am up all night. It varies by practice, but even if you aren't up with laboring patients, usually there are ER consults/surgery to do. Or the patient calls that come at all hours, no matter if you are busy doing procedures or not. I also cover clinic/OR the day after call. Call is usually 1:3 but if I am covering for my colleagues (vacations, illlness, etc) there are times when I have been on call for 14 days/nights consecutively.
As for doing c-sections on call, usually the hospital will provide an OR tech who assists, but if the patient is especially large and/or has had numerous prior c-sections, sometimes the FP doc on call (if they have surgical assisting privileges) will help assist. Most of the time I do them myself with the tech assisting.
Vacation is usually worked out with the other docs in your group, typically about 3-4 weeks a year on average. CME sometimes is counted as additional time, about 3-5 days.
Again, every practice is different but this is pretty typical of a moderate sized private practice. If you work with a large multispecialty, academic, or a hospital-baesd group oftentimes your call schedule will be much less frequent, although the compensation is usually less than what you can make in private practice.
Anyway, hope this helps answer some of your questions. This is just my experience so far, you should get some other perspectives for sure!