Friday, March 06, 2009

Why I Do This

Lately, for me, all you have been hearing is bitch, bitch, bitch about how this or that sucks big hairy balls (can't wait to get the misguided google searches on that one). So why, you collectively ask me, either outright or in your minds, do you put up with all that you do? Why not quit and become a garbage collector or something? This list, my friends and frenemies, is why:

~ Bringing babies into the world is, quite simply, awe-inspiring. I love it. It is so special and intimate, that moment when a family is born (and re-born), and I feel privileged to be a part of it.

~ I love helping women. Women are way too busy taking care of every one else to worry about taking care of themselves. It is good to have 15-20 minutes to sit and listen to women, and make suggestions on how they can better care for their own needs.

~ I like to *fix* things. I am, at heart, a fixer. I want to change things for the better, and being an Ob/Gyn allows me to do this more often than not. I find this infinitely satisfying when I can make things better through surgery or medical treatment.

~ I enjoy the continuity of care that being an Ob/Gyn affords. I love being able to deliver multiple babies for the same patient, and then be able to take care of their Gyn needs once childbearing is over. I like the lasting relationships the field can foster.

~ I like to do Gyn surgery. General surgery, to me, was overwhelming, but Gyn surgery affords me the ability to do a variety of cases in a limited area of the anatomy. The perfectionist in me enjoys the focus on one organ system, but there is always good enough variety to keep it interesting.

~ Procedures are fun. Not just surgeries, but colposcopies, LEEPs, IUD insertions, polyp removals, and endometrial biopsies are all very enjoyable, and the results are often immediately evident. Highly satisfactory.

~ There is a limited amount of pharmacology. For me, it is pretty much antibiotics, hormone replacement or suppression, birth control, anti-inflammatory meds, the occasional hypertension or diabetes med, and some anti-depressants. I loathe polypharmacy, so I enjoy the clean and simple pharmaceutical profiles that Ob/Gyn provides.

~ The patients. That's right, for all that they do to drive me crazy, it's the patients that keep me coming back for more. Be it the infertile woman that I helped to conceive, or the anemic, miserable woman whose ills were cured by a simple procedure or surgery, or even the chronic pain patient who got the correct diagnosis, treatment, and subsequent improved quality of life. I do this for the patients, plain and simple.

~ At the end of an exhausting day, I feel that I am making a difference and an impact for good in people's lives. That fact makes the unbearable actually bearable.

So, look, I love my job. I love it. For all of my whining, I wouldn't do anything else. I hope this answers the questions out there. Thank you for listening.

**cross posted at Mothers In Medicine


Anonymous said...

I did listen(or read); I am a good listener actually. I worked in ortho as a teen after school & then my first adult medi office job was OB-GYN for the doctor who had delivered me. The first day he said: You look so different now.
:-) I never wanted to be a medical doctor nor do I have the intellect, but there is one specific reason I'd not have chosen ob anyway. Every single baby we delivered seemed to come in the middle of the night!
;-0 Hope the OB docs get some sleep when they are not on call.

Unknown said...

I love this post.

I actually love all of your posts.

I've always "liked" my ob/gyn more than my other doctors because she has seen me through so many things- both wonderful and not so wonderful. That continuity of care is a big thing for me as a patient. She isn't just seeing me in one part of my life and I think that makes for a really important relationship.

Masked RN said...

I'm curious, Did you know you wanted to be an OB/GYN first or did you know you wanted to be a doctor first. I am a RN and I would have NEVER chosen to be a RN in a million years... But my path lead me to have a desire to take care of women during childbearing/childbirth/postpartum... and this is where I am now as an obstetrical nurse. So, I'm always curious if people chose the healthcare profession, then focused in on pregnancy/birth or if they had a strong desire like myself to work with birthing women and chose being a healthcare provider as their route.

Thanks for indulging me. :)

Ciarin said...

Hear hear! I agree with many of your reasons (not the surgery stuff of course, although I do enjoy the first assist role for sections) for being in this profession! Well put!

Anonymous said...

I really look forward to your posts. As a mommy and an M2 buried in pathology right now, I needed to read this. Thanks. M2M

Anonymous said...

Regarding your reason #2: My visit with "you" is one of the few times in the year that anyone takes a minute to focus on me. I appreciate it very much; thank you for listening and caring about me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. Sometimes it feels as though I am fighting a war in a beautiful meadow. Your post helps me see the beauty (and forget the minefields). Thanks and keep up the good work...RuralObGyn

dr. whoo? said...

FrankandMary~ Hello and thanks for reading! Isn't it odd that babies pick the middle of the night to be born? The real answer lies in the ebb and flow of hormonal changes (peaking in the early AM hours). Don't worry, we try to catch up on sleep when not on call (those of us with kids that sleep all night, that is!)

Stella~ Thank you for your kind words. I agree that there is a special relationship that can develop between an Ob/Gyn and their patient. We do go through some pretty amazing times together! :)

Myra~ Hello! You know, I have to say that when I started out in medical school I really didn't know what I wanted to do. I thought I really wanted to do Derm until I had a couple of Derm clinics and went home itching every day. I hit my Ob rotation with an open mind and just fell in love. I can't tell you how much I wish I didn't love my field, but I do. I knew that I needed to help women, and being an Ob/Gyn was the best way to do that. I don't regret my decision, but I was surprised by my passion rather than led by it.

Ciarin~ Thank you! I appreciate your kind words, and know that you understand.

M2M~ Thank you! Hang in there! I really liked Pathology (still do). I am super detail oriented, so I gravitated toward the microscope analysis. I couldn't imagine being a mother in medical are super woman. Keep up the good work and thanks for reading!

Anon 3/9~ I am certain that I speak on the behalf of your physician when I say "You are welcome." Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

RuralObGyn~ Your comments keep me going, as well. Many times it is hard to see the field for the mines, but it helps to take a step back and take in the beauty. I know you are doing a great job, so *you* keep up the good work...and keep the faith! :)

Lara said...

You are amazing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing this!! I am 22 years old and am going to college to get my bachelors in science now. I plan to go to med school and become an obgyn. I am very passionate about it! My obgyn doctor is amazing! And she was a lot of my inspiration. I spend a lot of time researching all things obgyn.. And I came across this, and I can tell your a great doctor also! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I just got accepted into my first choice OB/GYN residency and these are all reasons that I chose OB/GYN. The idea of being able to be present for such a special moment in so many families lives is mind blowing. Not to mention the surgeries and minor procedures. Anyway, thanks for your positive outlook.

Anonymous said...

I loved reading your post. Was in search for something which encouraged me,as a female with passion for ObGyn, to go for a residency programme in it.
I have been discouraged from doing so because i am told as a young woman with intentions of getting married and being a good wife and a wonderful mother, this profession isn't the best choice.