Being a gynecologist is an incredibly rewarding profession. As many specialists in the field say, this job equals to attending a birthday party every day and witnessing the miracle of life every given hour. Being a gynecologist, on the other hand, is not easy at all – due to the specifics of the job – but with ambition, dedication, and passion you will overcome any obstacles.
Today, we will present you with five career tips for aspiring gynecologists so you know what to expect and what areas to pay attention to in order to become successful in your profession.
1. Your Grades Matter, but Your Dedication to the Field Matters More
In order for you to become a gynecologist, you need to know you will have to complete many years of rigorous study, schooling, education, and networking. The most important thing in this stage is to understand that preparing for this profession requires dedication and determination. In other words, your career as an Ob/Gyn begins in college.
If you already graduated high school with high grades and you are now on your pre-med path, you should consider majoring in fields such as women studies, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, or physics.
As an aspiring gynecologist, you should also know that your grades would matter plenty: a high GPA during your undergraduate years, as well as a good performance at the MCAT will ease your way into medical school.
When we said that your grades matter a lot, but your dedication matters even more, we meant that you would have many years ahead of you that you should dedicate to study and research. Great grades in medical school will give you access to some of the best residency programs in the country.
Medical school is a four-year commitment you need to engage in with all your passion and dedication. The internship and residency might take between four and eight years of study, research, and clinical experience. You should also consider studying even more in order to become a board certified gynecologist.
Of course, you can also dedicate to specialty programs related to gynecologic cancer surgery or fetal surgery – and they will take another 3-4 years of study.
You have, therefore, more than a decade of study in front of you. Gynecology is a very competitive field of medicine (we will touch this topic immediately) and you will face incredible challenges and tremendous satisfaction. As long as you become better and better at your job, you have all chances to become a successful doctor.
2. Keep an Eye on the Competition, as it is Fierce
The job outlook for this profession is extremely positive, with an employment rate expected to grow 24% by 2024. Moreover, on average a gynecologist earns around $200,000 a year – one of the highest salaries in the medical profession. Of course, the salary depends plenty on the doctor’s experience, knowledge, specialty training, and the industry where you find employment, and even location.
You will also have plenty of opportunities of advancement or becoming independent by starting your own private practice. Your salary grows with experience: it seems that the experienced gynecologist salary is 33% greater than the starting salary in the United States.
The problem with competition in gynecology is that we currently face a shortage of OB/Gyn specialists and it seems the situation will get worse in the next years. Recent data shows that the need of services in women’s health will not be able to meet the current offer.
This state of facts triggered state programs to encourage gynecologists to work in rural and nonmetropolitan areas for very satisfying salaries.
3. Care for Your Mind and Soul, as Burnout is a Problem
Being a gynecologist is one of the most stressing jobs and one of the most challenging medical professions. As rewarding as it is, it also comes with immense emotional burden, chaotic shifts, more than 60 hours of work a week (spiking to 80 for most residents and doctors), on call duty, emergencies, working nights and holidays, and many more.
According to studies conducted in 2017, 40% to 75% of gynecologists currently suffer from professional burnout syndrome. The burnout is present even at the residency level. Analysis showed that residents following an obstetrics and gynecology residency program suffer from burnout syndrome in a very high proportion: 44%.
As a future doctor, you probably know already what triggers burnout. You should also know the means and methods you can employ to prevent the problem of taking over your life and your career. Besides coping mechanisms to stress and building a social and support network, you need to practice self-awareness and become as mindful as you can about your person, your job, and your future.
Staying healthy, both physically and psychologically is your meta-goal if you do not mind the expression. Mindful meditation, physical exercise, proper nutrition, hobbies, meaningful social interactions, and behavioral modifications, counseling and mental-enhancing activities are all stress alleviators and depression repellants.
4. You Need to Become (More) Tech Savvy
As an aspiring gynecologist, you live probably in the best of times possible: the technological advancements are amazing in the field of obstetrics and gynecology and scientific discovery and development happens almost on a daily basis.
You will work in an environment where every evolutionary step in terms of science and technology makes women’s lives better and your job easier and more rewarding. We talk about hi-tech gadgets and machines, new and safer procedures, tools and tests that focus on prevention and early intervention.
In order to be successful in your career, you need to step up your game and keep yourself updated to the new techniques and discoveries, new medication, gadgets, and instruments.
While nobody expects you to already know how to use a technology that became available today, you should at least know about it and be ready to learn how to use it in the immediate future. Remember, competition is fierce and you always need to have serious advantage.
5. Your Life outside Work is Extremely Important – Do not forget this!
So far, it seems that we encouraged aspiring gynecologists to forget everything they know about a personal life and dedicate themselves completely to their profession. While it is true you will spend more than a decade studying and gaining experience and connections, it is also true you have and should have a personal life outside of work. It is possible. According to a Medscape study, 61% of gynecologist are happy outside of work, and one of the happiest medical professionals on average.
Despite burnout and hardships of the job, gynecologists can enjoy a fulfilling life, in perfect balance with their profession. It may sound cliché, but among all those years of schooling and experience, you should always keep in sight the things that make you happy and joyful.