Have you ever wondered why your OB doctor decided to become an OB, or what it takes to become a doctor in general?
It’s a unique calling that requires tons of schooling, training, and long days (and nights). Despite all this, there’s something that inspired all of us as residents to keep going.
We love serving and caring for people in all stages and transitions of life.
To give you a peek behind the scenes of doctor/resident life, I’m introducing you to one of our Ob/Gyn residents, Dr. Alex McBath.
Going to the doctor and OB can be intimidating and even scary depending on your personal experience. So getting to know us physicians on a personal, human level will help you to feel more safe and cared for.
Before medical school, a college degree is required. Most people who are planning a career in medicine decide to major in biology, chemistry, or something sciency, since there are so many science prerequisites for medical school.
But in my medical school class, there were teachers, nurses, pharmacists, psychology and liberal arts majors, even a former mortician!
After college, there are four years of medical school. While medical school curricula vary, typically there is an emphasis on basic science for the first year or two, then a series of clinical rotations, where medical students are introduced to actually caring for patients.
As they gain experience in different medical specialties, they begin to form impressions about what it would be like to a pediatrician, or a radiologist, or an emergency medicine physician. Some students enter medical school with a specialty in mind; others are surprised when a particular specialty, patient, or physician mentor inspires them.
Medical students begin applying to residency programs at the end of their third year of school. The students look at what specialty they want to practice, what area of the country they want to live in, and how large a program they want to train in, and they submit applications all over the place.
After interviewing at various programs, medical students rank residency programs in order of preference. Residency training programs also rank applicants in order of preference. In a complicated process called the National Resident Matching Program, or the match, applicants are paired with a residency program. On the third Friday in March of every year, it’s Match Day – the day when everyone finds out where they’re going. This is a big deal. Medical schools have Match Day ceremonies, and the students invite family and friends to watch them open their envelopes with their futures printed on them. Then graduation and moving to a new place.
Then comes residency. Medical residencies last anywhere from three to seven years, depending on the specialty.
Ob/Gyn residencies are four years long. Residents learn how to manage pregnancies, deliver babies, perform surgeries, and diagnose and treat female cancers, gynecologic problems, and infertility. For residents wanting to gain additional expertise in a subspecialty, there are fellowship programs in Maternal-Fetal Medicine, Gynecologic Oncology, Urogynecology, or Reproductive Endocrinology. Another match program places us in these programs for another three years of training. Through it all, we learn how to practice the art and science of Medicine with compassion, integrity, empathy, and commitment to making our patients’ lives better.
In my introductory video, I explain why I became a Maternal Fetal Medicine physician.
Now we are going to meet Dr. Alex McBath, a third year Ob/Gyn resident at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth. Alex is remarkably mature and focused, which gives me a lot of hope for the rising generation of doctors. He will tell us how he became interested in Ob/Gyn, what life is like as a resident (spoiler alert – grueling!), and how he and his colleagues keep each other sane and balanced.
Plus Alex talks about the future of medicine for a growing, often underserved population, the LGBTQ community.
Watch this week’s episode to get a more personal look at what it takes to become an OB.
Finally, if you’re a new mom, a mom-to-be, or an open-nester, you deserve to pamper yourself. Have you grabbed your free copy of my Self-Care Guide for busy moms? If not, you can grab that below.