Dr's, and esp. OB/GYN's, a question or two?

Let me set this up, then the factual questions. My local paper runs full-page ads when the local Healthcare center hires a new MD. Fine and dandy. I will quote ( aside from changing names ) exactly. I then have a few questions for MD’s here in the USA.

I’m calling bullshit here. So, my factual questions are:

  1. Since nothing listed gives me any idea of where she’s worked, aside from where she completed her residency ( medical training ), am I to fairly assume that she has just completed her residency and is therefore a fairly green MD?

  2. She is a “Junior Fellow”. How does one become a full-fledged Fellow in the A.C.G. ? Time spent in practice? More money paid when joining?

  3. Is it true that every MD who passes a state board exam and becomes recognized as an MD pretty much has to join the AMA? And if so, then isn’t listing that as an " impressive credential" bullshit? You cannot play the game if you don’t join the team- joining the team therefore confers no special honor and imparts no special credential, as far as I can tell. Does one have to join the AMA in order to practice medicine in this country?

She looks to be about 28. Yes, they run a quality professional color portrait in these ads, that is about 9 inches tall and about 5 inches wide. Her “impressive credentials” make me think she’s fresh outa residency and new to the medical profession.

MD’s and OB/GYN’s, is there anything about the items mentioned in the quote that should make me think she has even a single week’s real experience in practice, outside of college and residency? And if not, isn’t this ad pretty darned misleading in it’s tone? As I said, it’s verbatim aside from the name change.

** Of course, I don’t know her or anything about her, so this isn’t about smearing a Dr. It’s about finding out whether or not the listed credentials amount to a hill of beans or not. She may be the best thing to happen to Gynecology since self-warming forceps, who knows? **


You don’t have to join the A.M.A. Plenty of M.D.s are not members. Being a member is not an indicator of competence. It is silly in my opinion to list A.M.A. membership in an announcement of this type.

Based on the information presented, this M.D. does sound like she’s fresh out of residency, which does not mean she lacks competence, just practice experience.
Jackmannii, M.D.

It shows she’s a graduate of an ACOG-approved residency program, and is on track to get Boarded in the specialty of OB/Gyn (which I believe takes at least a few years of post-residency practice to do). So she’s spent probably 4 years in med school, and 4 years in Ob/gyn residency to get to this point. That’s 8 years of training beyond the college level. And she’s probably been delivering babies for 6 of those years, by both vaginal and C-section delivery. So she’s probably got 400-500 deliveries under her belt by this time.

Coming out of a teaching institution she should also be familiar with the latest in technology and management recommendations.

So yes, the listed credentials do amount to a pretty fair piece of change. IMHO. I’ve worked with residents and fresh grads whom I trusted a LOT more than some of the longtime staff, in OB as well as other specialties. YMMV.

I agree withQtM.
Personally, I’d rather be treated by someone directly out of their residency than some old fart that hasn’t opened a journal in 20years.
They are closer to the cutting edge.

It seems to me that everyone, doctors included, has to have a first job. And it also seems to me that when a doctor is new on the job (as will inevitably happen), there might be some nervousness on the part of the patients, and that it’s reasonable to try to assuage that nervousness. So you get ads like this, listing what credentials the new doctor has, and assuring the public that she’s good enough to do her job.

Sounds like a brand-new doctor to me. Though my gyn issues are potentially awfully complex (to the point I’d need all sorts of specialized care if I got pregnant, Og forbid) I would have no problem seeing her for routine stuff. She ought to be up on all sorts of newer information than other docs.

Getting through a residency is tough, and while new grads lack the horse sense of experienced docs, they tend to be much more aware of the latest treatments and techniques. I personally would not hesitate to see a doc fresh out of residency for my own care. I agree she sounds like one.

I have to agree with QtM and you other folks who would rather have someone up on the latest, etc.

As I said in my OP, I wasn’t trying to smear this one woman- but trying to find out if what the ad listed was in of itself impressive. I mean, yes, she has done a lot of clinical work and may well be excellently positioned to offer a lot of recent experience and knowledge of the newest techniques ( opposed to the older Dr who hasn’t cracked a book in 20 years, etc. ). My point was this- wouldn’t every single Ob/Gyn coming into the market have identical credentials? And if so, isn’t the Heathcare Center being rather disingenuous in saying her credentials are impressive, when in reality within the medical community they are simply what is expected?

Look, my pal Caleb didn’t just like Trauma. He adored it. He lived it. He went around the Earth, finding the most cutting-edge Trauma Centers to train in. From Australia to John’s Hopkins ( Where the concept of Shock-Trauma Treatment originated decades ago ), he really got his stuff together. His ad- that would be impressive.

My OP was really trying to figure out if this well-trained competant MD had anything at all on all the other well-trained competant MD’s just coming off Residency.

That’s Johns Hopkins, dammit! His name was Johns! Johns Hopkins! Johns was his mother’s maiden name or something like that. He got saddled with it as a first name. :eek:

The blurb is reassuring. You don’t have to be a grad of an ACOG-accredited program to hang out a shingle as an OB/GYN. This shows she’s on track for Boarding in her specialty, and that she has been trained in and held to the higher standards associated with such a track.

As a followup to the comments about preferring a newly trained graduate of a residency program to a veteran practitioner because the latter won’t have cracked a book in 20 years or ever opened a journal:
This scenario is extremely unlikely to occur. Every state medical board that I know of (not to mention hospitals and other employers) has requirements for continuing medical education, including a set numbers of hours that cannot be satisfied by self-study alone and require participation in seminars and/or formal courses. Your education can’t ever stop. The stakes are higher in some specialties (think of oncology, for instance), but it is not possible to ever rest on your laurels and remain licensed, as well as have a successful practice.
And while I agree that docs fresh out of training in academic centers will generally have a good grasp of the latest diagnostic and treatment protocols, you’ve got to balance that against the qualifications of someone with an extensive practice database and the ability to recognize things he/she has seen repeatedly and a novice may never have seen. If you’re going to have a complicated surgical procedure, for instance, do you want an M.D. who’s done it a couple hundred times and is comfortable with all the anatomic variations and potential complications, or someone who’s got a half dozen procedures under their belt?

I know they have continuing ed requirements and such. But there are still some who keep up better on what’s new than others, and somebody fresh out of school ought to have the most up-to-date information since that’s where they’d have started instead of reading journals for 20 years to catch up. What they DO with the info is another question, of course, but that goes for all doctors.

It really depends on the doctor. Some have tons of experience and keep on on research and are incredible. Some don’t keep up except as much as they are required to because they have years of experience and work more from that. For some things, I want somebody with a lot of experience, because I have some unusual medical issues and I don’t want a well-meaning newbie doing something really wrong that the more experienced doctors would know to avoid. But for routine stuff, for me it depends more on the doctor’s personality and manner and whatnot (aside from them being competent, of course), not how long they’ve been practicing.

My orthopedist is at Johns Hopkins and notice I don’t live anywhere near there. I am way picky when it comes to some doctors, for very good reasons. But if I need antibiotics, I’m not quite so picky, though I lucked into a really good doc who is right up the street.

Added note: In most specialties these days (including family practice) you cannot be board-certified for life, but must retake exams at regular intervals (five years, for example). If you want to retain that vital board certification (without which you cannot have privileges at many facilities), you have to stay current.

FWIW, Junior Fellowship at ACOG is only extended to residents and recent residents. Those who have become board-certified must apply for Fellowship within (er…6 months…a year…? Dammit, I just looked it up…!)

Correct me if I am wrong, docs, but residency programs are also selective, are they not? Isn’t that why Match Day is such a big damn deal?

I recall my overprotective FIL wondering about my GP during my pregnancy (first and only precious grandchild) and he was as interested in knowing my doc’s residency locale as he was in knowing where his medical degree was from.

This has led me to believe that the quality of one’s residency varies. I also assume that a brand new doc who graduated from a top-notch residency program boasts a better resume than his or her peers from other residency programs.

You’re right, but the old fart does his CE requirements because they are required, he isn’t necessarily interested. The same is true of nurses. But one can always find CE courses suitable to sleep through, just to stay current.
My last doctor (an O.F.) never took my blood pressure in 5 years. He said he could “tell” if a patient was hypertensive. :dubious: He was as lazy as my cat.

In your example of the experienced surgeon vs one just out of residency, remember, residents do it all for the whole time, average 3-4 years. That would be more than a half dozen of any procedure. I’ve never met a fourth year surgical resident who wasn’t very comfortable with whatever was dropped into his/her lap.
So I would still take the “wet behind the ears” over the O.F. any day.

Absolutely. You want to be a hotshot as a Trauma Nurse/Dr/Surgeon? Get to Johns Hopkins. ( :smiley: Sorry, QtM) or Westcherster County Medical Center, or Parkland. You wanna do kids? You have hopefully gone through C.H.O.P. or somesuch highly-touted Peds program. And, so on.

picunurse, here. Hold my hand. See? Your B.P. is lower already. I have that effect on people. Seriously- even as an EMT before I retired, NYS had finally gone from re-certifying with a test and practical every 3 years, to C.M.E. classes on an ongoing basis so that you were always being exposed to different materials. An excellent way to bring new protocols and techniques to folks. Train the Instructors, have them disseminate.

whiterabbit, the choice we make is always predicated on varying factors. What can we afford? Who is closest, who takes our insurance ( A biggie of course, for those of us who have health insurance ), what experience do they have and so on. When the Man-Cub, at the age of 4 1/2, had to have his lower eyelids “tucked” due to corneal abrasion from his lashes, we were sitting in the office of a well-respected local eye MD/Surgeon. His office walls were slathered with newspaper articles about him. ( this always made me vaguely uncomfortable, but from his reputation he really is a local good solid hot-shot ). He looked us in the eye and said he was going to take a pass on doing it. He’d done it, but it wasn’t his specialty and he felt it was much wiser to have someone do that kind of work ( both corrective AND plastic surgery at once ) who did it very routinely. He guided us to a Dr. at Westchester County Medical Center who did so many of these, it was silly. He was excellent, his work was brilliant ( I took macroscopic before and after photos of my son’s eyes ) and his post-op concern and attention was right on the mark, especially considering his work load. THAT first Dr. did just the right thing- he took a pass on it for our sake. I respect that kind of thing.


Originally posted by **Qadgop the Mercotan **

It shows she’s a graduate of an ACOG-approved residency program,

I worked for 5 years for ACOG (American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists). They do not approve residency programs. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (www.acgme.org) is responsible for the accreditation of post-MD medical training programs in the U.S.

One of the criteria for being a full Fellow of ACOG is passing the board examinations (aka, the boards), which are administered by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Once you pass, you can call yourself “board-certified.” As a member of ACOG, you can call yourself a “fellow” and put the initials “F.A.C.O.G.” after your name.

You are correct, of course. My bad. Especially since I knew that somewhere in the depths of my mind.