I decided 3 years ago to jump into the premed journey. I am starting with UNC-Chapel Hill School of Medicine in August. UNC has been the place where it all started for me. It’s where I took my premed science classes, had my first hospital volunteer experience and have been employed for the past 2 years as research assistant and then childbirth educator. The opportunities to grow and learn at this institution are vast and varied. By simply following my passion to learn more about Women’s Health and to offer my services anywhere and anyway I could, I have landed in this "place"
Several weeks ago, by my various associations and contacts, was invited to attend the 19th annual OB/GYN resident research presentations. (All of the PGY3 residents in OB must complete a research project) I chose to attend because I am already envisioning myself as part of the UNC Hospitals resident staff in OB-GYN. I wanted to see what type of person is chosen to work in our hospital. The funny part, was that I had worked with 1/2 of the resicents in the room as a doula on labor and delivery. The director of the center I work in has introduced me to many of the faculty in the department and they were all there too. The nurses I interact with daily were in the audience and even my favorite lady in the world received the clinical staff award from the residents.
Prior to the presentations, the rising interns, doing the orientation gauntlet came into the center were I work for a brief presentation on our services. I told them I would see them on my OB rotation in 2 years. When I went to the presentations, they were there again!
I wish I could believe that my passion for the OB/GYN specialty will change, as many of you wiser more experienced OPMers predict. While many things fascinate me at this time, it seems the more open I am to different specialty experiences the more drawn to OB and Women’s Health.
There is a doctor at our Women’s Hospital, who among other things, has made leaps and bounds in research with ultrsound and intrauterine prenatal surgery. She went to undergrad and UNC, medical school at UNC, residency at UNC and is now full-time faculty. I asked her if she ever regrets staying in one place all this time and surprisingly she said no. She said that she has made valuable professional connections in this area that she couldn’t have made otherwise.
On a more emotional and spiritual level, to support her point, there is “something” about UNC-Chapel Hill that grows on you. I visited this area many years ago and decided that I would live here. My husband and I moved here 7 years ago from Maryland and have never looked back. I don’t ever want to leave.
We are moving in 3 weeks, 20 miles, to Chapel Hill (4.5 miles from campus) right on the busline (which is free to ride). School starts in 7 weeks and 3 days. While my official job at the hospital will end in 4 weeks, I will continue to be a doula and childbirth educator as much as my schedule and study demands will allow.
I am looking forward to learning the science and the art of medicine in the years to come. I will continue to follow my heart as I know it will lead me into the right specialty. Deep down my gut tells me it will be related to women’s health, whether it’s birth, urogyn, endo/repro, or onc.
When it comes time to apply for residency, I will want to continue at UNC. Being a competitive residency, I will start now. Even if I leave the OB track for something else, I am confident that the relationships I have developed there will help me to succeed in whatever my heart chooses to do.
MS-I, starting August 10th!!
UNC-CH SOM, class of 2008
As you go through the years of medical school, your interests may change or they may not. The important thing is to keep an open mind about specialization. The climate of practice in any specialty may change drastically in the time that is takes for you to complete medical school and residency. Once you have done a clerkship or rotation through a specialty, you may find that you really don’t want that specialty. This happened to me with Anesthesia.
I started medical school with an interest in Pediatrics or more specifically, Adolescent Medicine. Today, I am a General Surgery resident planning to do a Vascular Surgery fellowship. One of my classmates entered wanting to to Neurosurgery. Today he is starting his PGY-3 residency year in Neurosurgey at Cleveland Clinic. We both kept an open mind about specialization. My interests changed; his did not.
Keeping your OB-GYn ties open is not a bad thing to do but do join a couple of specialty interest groups at your medical school to get exposure to other specialties. It is a good idea to join a surgical specialty interest group and a non-surgical specialty interest group. Nothing is set in stone until you match and sign a contract.
Keep an open mind. Your interests may change or they may not. You may end third-year and still be undecided as to what you want to do but you will know if you are interested in a surgical specialty or not (narrows your choices).