Career advice wanted
I’m having a mid-residency crisis. I’m halfway into my three year family medicine residency, which means in a year and half there will be much more independence but also much less of a safety net below me. I want to practice in primary care - so I know that it won’t be hard to find a job, however will be much more difficult to find the right one. I’d like to continue doing underserved medicine of some variety - but not sure if that means staying in the city as I am now or moving to a rural area, possibly closer to family now that Baby is here. I’m currently ruminating on whether I’d like to continue practicing OB or not.
It was a surprise to me how much I liked practicing OB as a resident. I liked it as a med student enough (although I will forever hate ORs - I’m too clumsy with too little body spatial awareness) but doing deliveries of my own clinic patients has been so rewarding and energizing. When I find that precious time to devote to independent learning, I find myself reading OB literature (and staying awake through it) more than any other kind.
Today was the first call for a delivery I’ve had since our own Baby was born. As timing goes, it was perfect for me. I was called at 6 am, ran to the hospital, and was back after a beautiful delivery by 9 am. It was great for me - but maybe not so much for Husband. When I left at 6, Baby was just starting to wake up and Husband had stayed up late working the night before, was already awake and was very much looking forward to a morning nap. He didn’t say anything negative, but his expression was less than pleased.
...and this is a best case scenario when I got called in. Our residents are continuously on call for our own patients with lots of back up as with residency schedule we may be working nights or a hospital shift elsewhere that we may not be able to leave. My husband didn’t realize it was a possibility that I would be going in today, but the reality is it’s pretty much always a possibility as I’m usually within 2 weeks of a patient’s due date and babies don’t always come on schedule. And I think as an attending, I’ll likely be much more responsible for my own patients’ deliveries - although having adequate back up is something I am definitely evaluating as part of my future job.
So my question is... can we do this? Or more accurately, will it be worth the effort to do this? We don’t have family close. We don’t really have an emergency contact nearby who can watch Baby if plans change quick. I think I can handle the lack of sleep and unpredictable hours, but is it fair to ask my family to do the same? What about when we want to leave town and spend time with our family? Husband and I have had several conversations and will continue to do so over the next 6 months as my patients continue to deliver and we’ll see how it goes.
I just really wanted the advice of some moms who have been practicing outside of residency for awhile. Spoiler alert: this likely won’t be my last post asking for career advice. Are you doing what you want in your careers despite a somewhat demanding call schedule? Or did you find that giving up a bit of call was worth it for a little more overall family stability?