Annual Clinical Meeting--An Eye Opening Experience

Attending my first ACOG conference was a rewarding, exciting, and eye-opening experience. Through the junior fellows session, I met numerous residents and recent graduates with whom I could share residency experiences and advice. I particularly enjoyed discussing the different way common issues (such as pre-eclampsia) are managed in different regions of the country. It definitely motivated me to look into the literature on some of these practices some more.

As I am now approaching my fourth year of residency, I found the curriculum on boards preparation to be especially helpful, not only in order to relieve anxiety, but also to help formulate a clear plan of how to approach studying and creating a case list. Having some of the common myths “debunked” and getting information directly from a reliable source was valuable.

As I approach my last year of residency training, I spend a great deal of time considering career paths and practice types. For this reason, I particularly enjoyed the lunch session where we were able to sit with physicians from a particular subspecialty or practice model. I am planning on practicing as a generalist and was able to gain a lot of insight into the differences between practicing at an academic institution versus private practice. I was also surprised to learn what a wide variety of practice models fall under the category of “private practice.” I had the opportunity to meet with generalists practicing at an FQHC, in a private practice with residents, at a private practice without residents, at practices that were exclusively ob-gyn, and at practices that included family practitioners or other sub-specialists. Although I remain undecided about which type of practice I will ultimately join, their experiences and advice will allow me the opportunity to make a more informed decision.

I was also able to attend a session about laborists.  For trainees such as myself, it was extremely informative to learn about emerging practice models, such as the laborist. I was surprised to learn that most laborist positions are filled by more experienced practitioners who have extensive obstetrical experience.  It was also interesting to learn how, in some practices, various strategies have been set in place to ensure that basic gynecology skills are maintained. As many believe that laborists will play a growing role in the future, I was very excited to gain a better understanding of what it means to be a laborist, and what their skill set actually includes.

Finally, the scientific and educational sessions on preterm labor, laparoscopic pearls, wound closure techniques, and breast feeding were definitely instrumental in supplementing my education so I can be a better ob-gyn and surgeon. In addition, the larger, more global presentations such as the March of Dimes Annual Lecture and the President’s Program helped to provide perspective about the global impacts of obstetrics and gynecology in women’s health.

Joelle Thomas – PGY 3
JThomas@uwhealth.org
University of Wisconsin
Recipient of the District VI 2014 Burch Award

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