Interview - Dr Sarah Corbett

My passion for O&G arose from the time I spent in Central America on my medical elective. Seeing the lack of skilled care available to most women in the world, and realising that many women are dying young of preventable causes is what initially interested me.

 The thing that I enjoy most about O&G is that the majority of our patients are young and relatively healthy, and you are often meeting them at important times in their lives: during pregnancy, miscarriage, childbirth, infertility, and diagnosis of cancer. On top of that there are many obstetric emergencies which require quick action and clear thinking to prevent death and disability. For me, O&G is a specialty that through communicating well and gaining the skills to deal with the emergencies, you feel you make a tangible difference.

We have amazing support from our consultants who are on site 24 hours, and who are very approachable and willing to help. It is great working with such good midwives, often in challenging circumstances. We have the busiest delivery suite in NZ, and see a lot of high risk patients, and a lot of women who present late, or with limited antenatal care.

 It is hard to get bored in O&G. There is always more to learn, more skills to gather, and more research to do. It is also a very flexible specialty with part time options. As a consultant you can sub specialise, work in private, be a generalist at a smaller centre, or be an academic.

 Training involves 4 years of basic training, where you are allocated through out the Auckland Region to O&G training posts. There is a written exam in year 3, and a clinical exam in year 4. Following this, you have 2 elective years where you have to find a job in an area you want to learn more about or are interested in pursuing. We also have a research project we have to complete by the end of our training.

 If you want to move in to O&G I would advise you to apply for the Postgraduate Diploma in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Auckland or Otago and work as an SHO in O&G while you are studying. You will soon know if O&G is for you.

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