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Midwifery vs Obstetrics

Latte47

New Member
Hi there!

I'm not sure whether to pursue midwifery or obstetrics. Does anyone have any insights as to what each career is like or any other advice? If you need any context, let me know.


Thank you! :)
 

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O

OptimistPrime

Guest
I think(?) there's generally only 1 or 2 obstetricians in small rural towns so it can mean you need your pager on 24/7. Not sure if this is also true for midwives.
 

Crow

Moderator Band
Most Active 2018
What do you want out of your career? Certainly midwifery requires a much less onerous / time consuming pathway to become fully qualified than becoming an OB does - if you think you'd be satisfied in either role, I'd say midwifery would probably be the way to go.
 

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Latte47

New Member
What do you want out of your career? Certainly midwifery requires a much less onerous / time consuming pathway to become fully qualified than becoming an OB does - if you think you'd be satisfied in either role, I'd say midwifery would probably be the way to go.
I'd like to be able to make a difference in people's lives while working with/learning about the human body simultaneously. I think I'd be able to have a fulfilling career in both, so maybe midwifery is indeed the way to go, as the training is less rigorous. However, I don't really know the differences between both careers and the different skills that each requires. Midwifery seems more like a caring sort of career (yes I don't mind caring for the patient but if it includes bed making, I'm not sure if it would be for me), whereas obs seems more technical. It seems like something in between would satisfy me, but I don't think I know enough about each career to make a judgement.


Thank you for your replies.
 

LMG!

Moderator
Admodistrator
I'd like to be able to make a difference in people's lives while working with/learning about the human body simultaneously. I think I'd be able to have a fulfilling career in both, so maybe midwifery is indeed the way to go, as the training is less rigorous. However, I don't really know the differences between both careers and the different skills that each requires. Midwifery seems more like a caring sort of career (yes I don't mind caring for the patient but if it includes bed making, I'm not sure if it would be for me), whereas obs seems more technical. It seems like something in between would satisfy me, but I don't think I know enough about each career to make a judgement.


Thank you for your replies.
These are just some links I found after a quick search. They might be a good start, but I definitely recommend doing some additional research.

https://www.gapmedics.com/aus/blog/2016/03/21/is-midwifery-right-choice/ (Aus information)
Midwife job profile | Prospects.ac.uk (UK information but might generally be useful)
A career in obstetrics and gynaecology (UK information but might generally be useful)
Become an obstetrician gynaecologist (Aus information)

I'd also recommend having a chat to a careers counsellor at whatever Uni is closest to you/the Uni you're currently enrolled in if you're already a tertiary student (though I've kinda assumed you're in year 11 or 12 this year?). If you're still in High School, your school may also have a careers counsellor you can speak to, but I think prospective students can book sessions with Universities if there's no one at your school.
 

pi

Junior doctor
Admodistrator
However, I don't really know the differences between both careers and the different skills that each requires. Midwifery seems more like a caring sort of career (yes I don't mind caring for the patient but if it includes bed making, I'm not sure if it would be for me), whereas obs seems more technical.
The two careers are vastly different.

From my experiences on the obstetrics ward, I found midwives to have a similar role to what nurses would have on regular wards, albeit specialised. They work shifts to look after the patient and their family, and for uncomplicated births can deliver the baby. Yes, there is the "bed making" perspective, but you really only change the sheets once the birth is over, and someone else washes them ;) However, they can also have important roles in the outpatient setting too, and often see prospective mums at regular intervals for assessments (examinations, blood pressures, urine tests, etc.) and education. The role of midwives becomes more limited as pregnancies get more complicated, but in general, they contribute a great deal to people who have a 'normal' pregnancy and birth - arguably more-so than the obstetrician or GP.

Obstetricians are doctors trained in obstetrics and gynaecology. Regarding their obstetrics practice, they can individually manage pregnancies that are uncomplicated (if the patient so wishes) or complicated. They deal with any complications or issues before, during or after birth, including complications from pregnancy (e.g. miscarriage), if induction is needed, if instrumentation is needed for birth, if a surgical birth is needed, and repairing any damage that occurs to mum. Obstetricians have a reputation for having perhaps the worst on-call roster, for their private patients they may be called in at any time - babies tend to not like entering the world during 9-5 business hours! This is all apart from their gynaecology practice, with encompasses a whole lot more.

As you say, in terms of rigor, much much easier to become a midwife. It's a degree from uni, and then you're qualified. To become an obstetrician you need to complete medical school, complete years as a junior doctor, get into the competitive training program (which is only becoming more competitive), complete the training and relevant fellowships, and then find a consultancy position and/or start a private practice.... It's much more intense and lengthy, and from starting medical school to becoming a consultant it could easily be 15+ years.
 
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