When you hear the topic work-life balance and you are in the medical field, it often makes you roll your eyes. “There is no such thing as balance,” says the female OB-GYN.
I am here to say there are ways for female physicians to have balance in this culture of changing medical practice that are both possible and profitable. These ways will allow us to continue the care we cherish in our private practices and not succumb to the bitterness of burn out.
I am a female OB-GYN married to a surgeon with three kids. For the past decade I have had a job-share practice within a larger group practice. My job-share partner is also married to a physician and has two children. Together we share a thriving OB-GYN practice, keep up our surgical skills (robotics, laparoscopic, open cases) and function as mothers.
This system has been a saving grace for me. Working three days per week allows me to function as a mother and wife.
The advantage to our larger group is that when there is a crisis such as an illness of a call partner, my job-share partner and I have the flexibility of taking an extra call without it being a burden. We also have some time for administrative work that otherwise would be done on top of a full practice. In my home life I have the opportunity to cook, make it to the kid’s soccer games and dentist appointments.
Looking back at this past decade, I would have to first fall on my knees in thanksgiving for my wonderful job-share partner. Job sharing really is like a marriage because when it works out, it’s the best of all worlds. Secondly, I would have to thank my bigger practice for the rare opportunity of taking two doctors and allow us to function as a single practice. Lastly, I thank my family for living with the crazy schedule of an OB-GYN. They allow me to work in the discipline I have loved and trained in while also letting me strive to be a supermom!