By Jeffery Brown
I am asked this question a lot & usually the questioner wants to know why a male would be interested in this line of work. Let me tell you my backstory:
Growing up, I always knew I wanted to be a doctor. When I was young, I joked with my friends that I was going to be a Neurosurgeon (mainly because it was rumored they made the most money). On acceptance into medical school, I started to ponder more seriously about what specialty of medicine I would truly like to practice. My disposition had people suggesting I go into Pediatrics. This seemed like an attractive line of practice because I do love children. I have a family member who practices Internal Medicine so my attention was also drawn to that path. At that point in time, there were a few things that I WAS sure about – I was not going to be a Neurosurgeon and I was not going to be a Gynecologist. I even told my friends & classmates such.
As a medical student during our second year, we were given a test that intended to help us decide which specialty may be best suited for us. When I received the results, Obstetrics & Gynecology was near the bottom of my personalized recommended specialties.
Medical school is traditionally four years, with two years of in-class learning & the last two years rotating through different specialties. It was during my rotational years, more specifically my third year, that I discovered what I wanted to do as my career: I worked mainly with one private Physician and her Physician’s Assistant. I remember the first time she called me in the middle of the night to go participate in a delivery. As it was my first delivery, I was just observing. The patient was a woman who had had two previous kids and her husband was the only family she had in the room with her. Feeling out of place & anxious, I stood a few feet back not wanting to be noticed but still trying to pay attention to what the doctor was doing. As she was giving the patient instructions to push, I also found myself pushing to the point that I was feeling it in my abdominal muscles. It didn’t take long for the baby to be delivered and standing back where I was, I could take in all of the emotions of the room. The moment was so special – I was witnessing a family being put together! I silently shed some tears realizing how amazing that moment was. To be honest, that hasn’t been the only time I have cried during a delivery.
Spending a month on my OB/GYN rotation, I was able to see the other amazing things entailed within this specialty. I enjoyed seeing patients in the clinic & being called for more deliveries. I liked being able to help diagnose a problem and follow a patient all the way through surgery for definitive treatment. At the end of that month, I realized that the results of the test I had taken the year prior were not an accurate reflection of me. I knew at this point what I wanted to do. Needless to say, I had some surprised friends and family when they found out I was ecstatic to become an OB/GYN for the rest of my life. I am extremely happy with my decision and am honored to still love what I do each day.