The following post from Dr. Angelica Glover, assistant professor in the Division of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, appeared in the latest e-newsletter from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine:
Fall has finally arrived to most of the continental U.S. and, with it, a plethora of change – cooler weather, the colors of a new season, and the end of pool days. This is also a time of transition for many of us who recently completed fellowship and have moved on to “attending-hood,” as I like to call it. Whether we decided to remain in academic medicine, shift to a private practice, stay at our current institution, or move away, the beginning of a new facet of our medical career brings a lot of excitement, anxiety, and joy, all combined.
I am often asked how my transition to junior faculty is going. I decided to stay at my training institution after completing fellowship. While I was already familiar with the day-to-day logistics of the place, this transition has come with a steep learning curve, nonetheless. Having the final word on prenatal diagnosis, for example, takes a tremendous amount of adjustment. Everyone says that the first year out is tough, but it is truly difficult to explain until you have actually gone through it.
Despite these challenges, I can sense that my clinical confidence, knowledge, and assertiveness are increasing on a daily basis. I attribute this ongoing growth to working alongside a group of colleagues that I can reach out to about a patient, an ultrasound finding, or a challenging clinical case at any time. In fact, if I had to give one piece of advice to those who are currently interviewing for their first job after fellowship, it is to find the place in which you feel most at ease with your prospective colleagues. You will be spending a great deal of time with them and need to be able to trust them, the medical staff, and sonographers.
Though our first jobs after fellowship may seem very permanent, there is always room for growth and change. Some of us plan to pursue research, whereas others have chosen a clinical focus. This is a very personal decision that should be aligned with one’s long-term career goals and values. However, our priorities can and may shift over time, depending on life events or career opportunities that may come along the way. I am a strong believer in embracing change, whenever change comes knocking on the door. We are part of a subspecialty with great diversity in practice models and settings, which also allows us to keep an open mind as we move through our professional years. The opportunities are truly endless.
Above all, our subspecialty provides us with the privilege to make a tremendous difference in the lives of patients, day in and day out, regardless of where or how we practice maternal-fetal medicine. This is a responsibility that is not to be taken lightly. As we embark in new journey, I hope that we do not forget the reasons why we chose to subspecialize in maternal-fetal medicine.