This article was updated on May 16, 2022
The OB/GYN specialty is characterized by a fast-paced environment and fulfilling work, but this role oftentimes has a reputation for a grueling lifestyle.
OBHG physician Dr. Angela Kim wishes to debunk that myth. “You can be an OB/GYN and also be balanced,” she says. “One really good way to do that is by becoming a hospitalist.”
Listen to Dr. Kim discuss her experience on the Obstetrics Podcast:
Myths & misconceptions of OB/GYN jobs
There can be many myths surrounding careers in obstetrics, which can make those looking for jobs after residency wonder if they should consider OB hospitalist jobs. While Kim ultimately came to the decision to pursue a role as an OB/GYN hospitalist, she had to work through some common misconceptions about her career choice. One was that she wouldn’t be able to perform many surgical procedures. In reality, she says she is probably doing more surgeries than non-hospitalist OB/GYNs.
A second misconception is that she simply wouldn’t be ready to handle any obstetrics emergency that walked through the door. “That’s totally false, because what we do as a resident – running labor and delivery, running a consult – is exactly what you’re doing as a hospitalist,” she says. “So it is actually quite a natural transition.”
Finally, many postgraduate medical residents fear they won’t be prepared to take their oral boards. But Kim notes that she had plenty of OB cases, including surgical cases, to prepare her case list during her first year of post-residency work.
Improving patient outcomes together
In Kim’s experience, the relationship between more seasoned OB/GYNs and those just out of residency represents a mutually beneficial dynamic.
“I’ve had a phenomenal experience so far working with my colleagues. They’ve all been practicing OB/GYNs for many years and entered hospitalist medicine for various reasons. Being fresh out of residency, it was awesome to work with more experienced OB/GYNs who were so willing to lend a hand, or at least give me advice that just comes with time. And I was able to offer up-to-date practices I had learned during residency.”
One such contribution Kim was able to make after her time working with those OB/GYNs was the introduction of the TeamSTEPPS model (Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety). The initiative’s goal is to reduce medical errors, improve patient safety, and support quality improvement in hospitals.
“I got to implement TeamSTEPPS for labor and delivery and then help lead simulations,” Kim says. “As a result of that, the hospital was so excited about it that I co-led a hospital-wide talk about the model and how other departments could implement it.”
“I let them know this was something I was passionate about,” she says. “I saw there was potentially a gap as I started my first few shifts. So, it was a great place to start.”
For Kim and many others, launching an OB/GYN career out of residency not only provided her with additional opportunities for growth but also supported both hospital improvement and patient care.
Work/life balance is crucial
For Kim, entering hospitalist medicine and getting an OB/GYN job as a young physician has offered many advantages. She was able to springboard into leading safety initiatives in labor and delivery units and participating in other passion projects. She also found benefit in the professional experience she gained in operative and non-operative care.
Underlying it all, she has recognized the value of flexibility and balance in her career. Getting a job as an Ob hospitalist with OBHG allowed Kim time to not only pursue professional achievements but also offered more work-life balance, with a flexible schedule that gave her the ability to enjoy personal time with friends and family.
“Self-care is so important because we need to be able to give to our patients and our community. For me personally, as a hospitalist, it gives me the flexibility to participate in my community outside of medicine. I’m able to exercise. I’m able to travel and just be there for my family,” she says.
“I think many physicians face this conundrum of being in two places at once. The truth is, you can’t. As a hospitalist, I know that if I have a sick patient on our service, when I check out I’ve handed off their care to a reliable colleague. I know that their care won’t slip through the cracks. And I know I won’t be letting down a prior commitment, and I’m able to show up for my family and my friends outside of work.”
Are you ready to begin an OB/GYN career?
Ob Hospitalist Group offers a number of jobs for post-residency individuals. OBHG is proud to offer OB/GYN jobs across the nation with the flexibility and work-life balance that you need to be successful. View our current job openings and feel free to reach out to one of our recruiters if you have additional questions.