Being a doctor in any specialty means being one of the most revered professionals in the world. Being a gynecologist is most of the times even better, as these professionals fight for life every minute of their career. The job comes together with great benefits, even if it requires more than a decade of study and training in a very competitive field.
Many people have somewhat distorted perceptions about gynecologists. Some think these doctors spend their days celebrating the miracle of life and enjoying a lavish, carefree existence once they arrive home. Others believe gynecologists deal with drama, ethical choices, life-and-death problems, and burnout their entire career. The truth is somewhere in between. Today, we will take a sneak peek in the true lives of gynecologists and see how they truly live their lives.
The Job is Hard and It May Even Get Harder
If you think gynecologists spend their days in state-of-the-art offices and clinics not worrying about a thing in the world, you may be wrong. The truth is, gynecologists work around 60 hours a week – and sometimes more. Being on-call is mandatory for this profession in hospital environments and even in some clinics. They work shifts and night shifts, the weekends, and the holidays.
Moreover, as we said above, they work in a field that comes with its own problems. According to some statistics, in the United States we face a shortage of gynecologists. This means that the existing ones have to cover more areas and more work.
As work is concerned, gynecologists do more than one thinks. Besides the usual tasks, these professionals have to stay up to date to the new technological advancements and the new discoveries in their field and connected areas of interest. They need to learn and adjust, adapt and become better and better every day. Being a gynecologist is not an easy job.
Gynecologists Enjoy Happy Lives Outside of Work
While it is true that gynecologists are extremely vulnerable to burnout for obvious reasons, most gynecologists are happy outside of their work. This means they can find balance and joy in their personal life. You may think this is all about the money they make and probably the young ones do consider their bank accounts as a factor for happiness.
In truth, a gynecologist’s yearly salary is a bit over $200,000 on average, while the experienced ones can make close to $250,000 a year. The paycheck also comes with benefits, including health insurance, life insurance, malpractice coverage, vacation and sick leave and many more.
Even if gynecologists spend their days dealing with human drama and running in between the hospital/clinic and conferences or workshops, they manage to live the good life. Most OB/Gyns are happily married and try to balance a successful career with a harmonious family life.
The experienced ones with training in multiple connected fields also earn money (and reputation) by working as consultants and experts for governmental committees, NGOs, health networks, associations, universities, and more. The more you work, the less time you have, but gynecologists do manage to find the time to enjoy hobbies, vacations, or relaxing family time. Moreover, gynecologists are some of the most extroverted medical professionals and thus likely to make friends easier.
3. Gynecologists Know How to Cope with Stress and Fatigue
Gynecologists register worrying levels of professional burnout – especially fatigue. The problem is more concerning in the young ones, who are still climbing the professional ladder and work hard to get to the top.
Besides the requirements and the emotional investment that come with the job by default, the murky waters of today’s healthcare system do not help them at all. Bureaucracy and long hours are some of the most important factors that trigger burnout in the young generation of gynecologists.
However, are these factors enough to make gynecologists give up? Recent reports show that most professionals use general and specific coping mechanisms to find the balance between their work tribulations and their life satisfactions. While many fight fatigue with “strategic napping”, others found their point of equilibrium in physical exercise, better time management skills, vacations, and more.
4. Gynecologists Get some Fun Retirement Time
Many gynecologists retire early or switch careers from hospital duty to clinic duty or freelance consultancy. If you think that all retired gynecologists spend the third part of their lives playing golf and visiting exotic countries – having the money and the opportunity – you may underestimate them.
Given the shortage of such professionals, many spend their “retirement” working a few hours a day in hospitals, as volunteers, as specialists in rural environments, or as consultants. Many of them teach, and some of them build medical clinics and offices.
As much as gynecologists enjoy their comfortable existence outside of work and their free time once they retire, you should never underestimate the passion and commitment to humankind all doctors feel and share. Medicine is a calling and most doctors, no matter their age, experience, and even fatigue, would do it again if given the chance.