Dr. James Greenberg
Class of 1992
What made you decide to pursue OB/Gyn as a career?
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.
What made you choose BWH/MGH as your residency?
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.
What unique preparation did the BWH/MGH OB/Gyn residency give you for your career?
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.
How does your current position correspond to where you envisioned yourself as you finished residency?
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.
Do you have a favorite memory from residency?
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.
What do you miss from residency?
I miss the comradery of being a resident.
If you could go back and give advice to your intern class, what advice would you give?
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.
What is the most rewarding part of your current job?
The babies. Having the opportunity to share the birth moment with new parents is still the best.