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Our alumni are located in all corners of the world and in many different kinds of institutions. While our alumni have different subspecialities and work in different locales, they all have the same training base. We hope their perspective will help inspire you and provide a unique perspective on residency training.
Our current profiles are Dr. James Greenberg and Dr. Mari-Kim Bunnell who are both from the Class of 1992 and have gone into private practices. Dr. Greenberg practices at Brigham-Faulkner OB/Gyn Associates, P.C. Dr. Bunnell practices at New England OB-Gyn Associates Inc.
When I was at Catholic college for a nursing degree I was a resident advisor responsible for a dorm. I tried to arrange for Planned Parenthood to come to speak about birth control because that was what everyone was asking me about but I did not have the information. I was called by the Dean and told that this was not an option. I wanted to be certain that everyone irrespective of their faith had access to information about family planning and I did not believe that information alone was harmful and should be at least provided irrespective of religious beliefs..
My husband was doing his residency in Boston at MGH and thus I wanted to follow him to Boston. BWH/MGH was the natural choice for training that would expose me to every aspect of OBGYN. My Latin American studies in college also gave me an interest in serving a Hispanic population which was part of the BWH program.
During the 1980’s the Brigham had a large group of very busy private practitioners who were excellent role models not only for academic careers but also life balance. The subspecialists were also very impressive and gave balance to options for future research areas.
I evolved my interests over time. Initially interested in many areas- alternating between high risk pregnancies and gynecologic surgery. Ultimately, I decided that the breadth of options in private practice at a tertiary care hospital met my needs.
It was caring for a woman whose baby was diagnosed with Downs Syndrome. When I went to tell her this, the look on my face gave away that I was going to give her bad news. When I revealed the information she quickly told me that she thought I was going to tell her something terrible about the baby. She then followed up with a comment I will never forget. “God choses who gets children with Downs syndrome.”
I miss the teaching and then independence. I feel that supervision is very important but also learning to be independent is important.
As hard as residency is you must always treat every patient like they are one of your family. Never lose your sensitivity and take care of your soul by respecting yourself and your needs as well.
The patients are the most rewarding part of the job. It is so rewarding to be stopped and thanked for things you do and advice you give over years with the same family!
I chose OB/Gyn because of the wide range of professional directions the discipline offered. Intellectually, I was never tied to one specific niche and wanted the freedom to practice in different directions as my passions changed. With OB/Gyn, I felt I could move between routine obstetrics, complicated obstetrics, surgery, endocrinology, oncology, etc. while still building those special long-term relationships with primary care patients.
Simply, the BWH/MGH residency was the best. In terms of breadth of training and available resources, the program offered clinical exposures to every aspect of OB/Gyn as well as a wealth of research opportunities.
The residency program provided me with all the tools I needed to start my career. When I finished my residency training, I felt I had a good handle on what I did not know and what skills I needed to learn and/or improve. Few physicians will ever truly master their discipline but knowing your limitations is the key (in my opinion) to being a good doctor. To know your limitations, you need a wide range of exposures and the BWH/MGH OB/Gyn residency program offers that in spades.
My current position is a bit of disappointment to me from where I envisioned myself as I finished residency due to explosion of sub-specialization. When I finished my training, I wanted to be the best generalist OB/Gyn (like Ray Reilly or Lenny Safon). Unfortunately, while I am confident my skills have matured to about where I had hoped they would be, the clinical environment has changed so that very good is no longer good enough because there is usually a super sub-specialist who is even better. That realization is bittersweet – I am thrilled by the advances our discipline has achieved but saddened that I could not ride the top of each wave.
My time as a surgery resident at the West Rox VA is still special to me. I never worked harder in my life (call every 1:2 to 1:3 and rounding at 5:00 am) but also never felt as truly enveloped by and invested in my work as I did in those months. Probably a better memory than true-life.
I miss the comradery of being a resident.
Look into yourself and understand what you want for your life (i.e. family, friends, living situation) and where you think OB/Gyn is headed and match the two up as best possible.
The babies. Having the opportunity to share the birth moment with new parents is still the best.