13 years ago – almost to the day – I was on call for my first night as a family medicine intern. Called to Labor & delivery to assist with the birth of a baby – I can remember only snippets of the event, but the exhilaration and joy were palpable.
About six months ago, my partner and I decided to give up delivering babies. This was an agonizing decision – yet being on-call every other night/weekend has taken its toll on us and our families – we've not been able to find partners with whom to share OB responsibilities.
It's such a great privilege to be invited into such an important even in people's lives – and the fact that we treat it as a special event – is what makes it so fulfilling for us – and so meaningful to our patients. Yet of course – this is what makes it so challenging as well. When we are so emotionally involved with out patients' lives, it becomes very hard for us to "let go" of providing these services without feeling like we're letting them down.
So now the decision of six months ago is becoming more and more real – and my ambivalence is growing stronger. Do I really want to be a family physician who doesn't deliver babies?
uuu – no I don't. But I can't be everything, and I can't do everything. So it's time to let something go – and know that it's ok.
Quit while we're ahead. We've never had a "bad outcome" — and have never been sued – or even worried that we would be. It's a track record to be proud of. Sometime I'll figure out how many babies I delivered. I suspect that it's about 1,000 .. which is kinda amazing. Some of these folks are still my patients ..
On a lighter note ..
I simpsonized myself: