Bootlegger - glad you responded! I most certainly hope great women/men still go into OB. In the end - just because it wasn't the right choice for me, doesn't mean it isn't for others.
Mamdoc - please don't let my opinion be a deciding factor. You have to decide what is right for you like i.e. what bootlegger went through. I'm not cocky enough to think my opinion was that persuasive either, but I'm just glad you have another perspective other than mine to read here.
Also, I love the idea of applying in both. You can always choose how many interviews to set up, too. But in the meantime, choosing to turn an application in in both ensures that you can make the decision with them on even footing, and if you do go into obgyn, you'll know it wasn't just because the idea of changing your mind at the last minute was too intimidating. It's worth a last minute flurry of stress to get the applications in - it's a big decision that you want to trust yourself on.
Personally, I think "lifestyle" (which is a terrible term, since I feel like it always conjures up visions of people wanting to relax with tropical drinks on cruise ships, rather than the contextually more accurate image of women wanting to see their kids at least a little bit most days and not worry every day that their career is slowly killing their marriage and all of their adult friendships) - it rarely becomes less important to a person over time. So if you're worried now, that's something to at least give a good hearing to.
Amma, thanks for that link. I belong to another mommy board of non-medical civilians, and I often endure the "physician is the enemy" mentality. I was happy to share that blog post for a bit of perspective.
"Some of it's magic and some of it's tragic but I had a good life all the way."<br />- He Went to Paris by Jimmy Buffett
I am an OB/GYN who finished residency in 2008. I loved OB/GYN when I started as a resident, and could not see myself in any other specialty. After 2 1/2 years of private practice, I have left clinical medicine and am now pursuing an MBA in preparation for transitioning into a corporate position.
I loved both OB, and gyn surgery, but was demoralized once I was exposed to the realities of private practice. I joined a 4 person group out of residency. I thought that I would have more control over my life once I finished residency, but that wasn't the case. Unfortunately, my senior partners thought the solution for maintaining profit with decreasing insurance reimbursements/increasing malpractice costs was to increase volume. Often I was double/triple booked for 15min time slots. This is not the way I want to practice medicine. Unfortunately, many practices are making this mistake. I do not believe you can practice good medicine when you have to rush through patients. As for malpractice, it is a very big concern. I am a good physician with great patient rapport, and still had to defend myself to the medical board after refusing narcotics to a drug addict who submitted a complaint. I was also accused of leaving a "surgical clip" inside a patient during a hysterectomy, which turned out to be a clip from her tubal ligation 12 years prior that WAS SUPPOSED TO BE THERE! Both of these incidents happened within my 1st 2 years of practice. I was exonerated in both cases, but it takes time and energy to defend against these claims. Fortunately I have not been sued, but from talking to friends who have, it takes quite a toll on one's mental health, and self confidence. As an ob/gyn, you will be sued at least once in your career, probably more than once. Another thing to keep in mind is the cost of tail insurance if you decide to leave your practice, or your specialty. It will cost me $82,000
in the form of a tail payment to leave my practice and retain insurance coverage for any potential cases arising from the time period I was employed there. I practiced for 2 1/2 years, and I owe $82,000 for that privilege. I was nervous about telling my physician friends that I was "jumping ship" and starting an MBA program, but most were supportive, and thought I was smart to get out.
I know this sounds all doom and gloom, and some physicians have had more positive experiences, but starting out in today's healthcare environment in OB/GYN is difficult. If you aren't 100% committed to it, I would reconsider.
I think you are smart to have a fall back position, and am also concerned about you not liking surgery as it is a large portion of what we do. Technique can be taught, but if it doesn't come naturally, you will really have to devote extra time to it. If you aren't committed to doing that, I think you are setting yourself up for failure in this specialty.
Again, I'm sorry this is so negative, and you may find a practice that you like that fits with your desired lifestyle, but I felt I needed to comment as someone who has been through the process.
I am leaning towards a medical director position in medical communications or with a medical device firm. I debated for a year before applying for the Physician Executive MBA program at the University of Tennessee, but am so glad I did. It is a wonderful program for physicians only and I really am enjoying learning about the business world. In my opinion, more business education really is needed in medicine.