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Residency Life: OB/GYN

Hi friends, I’m Dorothy. I’m currently a PGY1 in obstetrics and gynecology, and I’m here to share with you a little bit about what intern life is like! I’m about four months into my first year of residency and I think I’m starting to get used to the flow of things. To start things off, I wanted to share what a typical day for me as an OB/GYN intern looks like.

In my program, as interns get to do half of our rotations in OB or GYN and the other half in “outside rotations”. This means we get the opportunity to rotate in other specialties, including IM, ICU, ER, general surgery, and NICU. The rest of our rotations are divided into obstetric days, obstetric nights, gynecologic surgery, and ultrasound.


This is what a typical “obstetric day” looks like for me:


- Arrive to work around 5:35 am

- Check the list of who I will round on in the morning

- Pre-write my notes and print prescriptions

- Round on said patients

- Grab breakfast and get ready for sign out (we sign out as a group at 7 am)

- Didactics from 7:30 to 8 am (sometimes longer, depending on the lecturer or topic)

- Go to the floor and check to see who’s in labor, or if any triage patients are waiting to be seen


The remainder of our days on the OB floor consists of delivering patients (vaginally or by cesarean section), managing laboring patients, and rounding with the in-house attending. Though rare, we sometimes get OB trauma or OB consults that are postpartum (the Gyn team sees the other consults). Of course, there is a lot of learning going on. Constantly I’m learning on the go - that’s what a lot of residency is. The more you see, the more you learn.


Throughout the day, I’m reading up on patients or cases that I’m seeing in the hospital. It’s tough but it actually makes the learning more memorable because you’re seeing the topic right there and then.


Don’t get me wrong, residency is HARD. Waking up at the crack of dawn every day and most of the time coming home after sunset. It means not getting to spend as much time with my husband or getting to go home to see our parents. It’s just the reality of it. Not all of your weekends are free. But when you do get a golden weekend, they are amazing and I cherish the time even more.


Residency is not glamorous by any means. Don’t let social media fool you with all the prettied-up, posed photos of people wearing stethoscopes and cute scrubs.


At least in my field and most other surgical fields, you’re wearing paper-bag fit hospital scrubs. But, you learn to love them because you don’t care when they get dirty and there’s always a clean set to change into.


Additionally, residents put in a lot of hours, you need to learn to make sacrifices for things like spending time with your spouse/family and social life. This is where I think that balance is super important, and learning to prioritize is key. When you have precious time off, use it for things that are important to you. There is always learning to be done when you’re at work, but you won’t always have the time to spend with loved ones or do things that feed your soul so that you can continue to do what you have to do as a resident.


Overall, I’m so glad where I’m at and with that I’m doing. Residency is tough and if you’re in the same boat, know that you’re not alone. Reach out to others and stick with your people. Those who surround you and continuing to do things that feed your soul outside of residency is key.


-Dorothy


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