Clinical Rotations / Medical School / Uncategorized

OB/GYN: What To Expect

“I’m starting my third year with OB/GYN. Do you have any tips or tricks for that particular rotation? Anything I should expect working with those attendings? Or anything the attending like or expect from us? Just anything that could help before starting.”

Short answer: Expect vaginas, babies, long hours, and lots of vaginas.

Long answer: During my obstetrics and gynecology rotation I rotated through each aspect of the specialty. Obstetrics, gynecology, gynecological oncology, a week with a preceptor, a week in the outpatient clinic, one week on days, and one week on nights. Days and nights are the worst because they are literally twelve hour shifts. My surgery rotation wasn’t even this bad. In surgery you can at least steal away to the library to study. In OB/GYN, you are constantly doing something. It’s a lot of work and in my opinion the toughest third year rotation. Not to mention all of the vaginas.

For me, one of the most difficult aspects of pediatrics and OB/GYN is the fact that it feels like I’m studying a complete different species. For the most part, in internal medicine, family medicine, emergency medicine, surgery, and psychiatry you study the medicine involved with the adult human being. Pediatrics and OB/GYN are completely different entities. The steep learning curve in OB/GYN is a tough one to tackle. So grab a review book and start reading and, like every rotation, be present! Learn as much hands on medicine as you can. The OB/GYN residents I worked with went above and beyond to teach. They get a bad rap in my hospital for being…high-strung. Yes, let’s say high-strung. All joking aside, they are hard-working, intelligent, and willing to teach but you have to be willing to work. Just don’t get stuck doing SCUT work all day. Yes you are there to help but first and foremost you are there to learn. So be a part of the team, be willing to help out, ask questions, and learn! Of course, pick and choose your time to ask questions. There is a delicate balance between inquisitive med student and OMG STFU med student.

OB/GYN also sends you into the surgical realm. So learn how to scrub in properly and be nice to the scrub nurses. Also be warned- there are certain scrub nurses who will be rude, curt, and straight up nasty to you in surgery. Don’t take it personally and just roll with the punches. Introduce yourself when you enter an operating room and state your purpose. My friend got into the habit of literally walking in and saying “Hi my name is John Smith. I’m a medical student” because when you walk into an OR everyone will look to see who you are and it’s kind of awkward if you just scoot in without saying anything.

As for the attendings, I stopped trying to guess what they are thinking and what will make them happy. Just show up on time, work hard, study your medicine, be professional, be kind to your patients, and you will be fine.

Let me know if you have any follow up questions. And as always, happy studying!

Tags: , , , , ,


  1. This is some really good things to know about an OBGYN. I liked that you talked about how it would be smart to know being on is like you have to study a different species. It makes sense because babies are really different.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: