FM to ob/gyn switch advice

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New Member
Sep 25, 2014
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Hey guys

I'm a current fm pgy1 thinking very seriously about switching into ob gyn. I always had a bit of liking for ob and did well in my rotation in med school and did a sub I but at the last minute applied to family. That being said I am feeling a call to ob and miss it. I have talked to the ob program director at my institution and he seems to be impressed with my performance on our two month rotation. All the chiefs said they would live to have me and would put in a good word for me. One if the attendings even pulled me aside and asked why I didn't do ob. I would have to go through this year's match and apply here.

I'm sort of freaking out about talking to my program director about the switch. I don't even know how to bring it up. I also only plan in applying to only this one program at our institution (family lives here, wifes job is here) and if for some reason I didn't match here would like to end up staying at my fm program, id hate to lose my spot. I really do love my program, though I think I'd be happier in ob and feel in have a good opportunity.

Any help is appreciated. Any good ways to bring it up and word it so I can stay where I am if it falls through would be great.


Senior Member
15+ Year Member
Jun 26, 2001
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There is no good way to bring this up. The PD will be angry/upset as he will lose a resident and have an open spot that he will need to fill. If you tell him that you want to change - I am not sure how secure your current spot would be (unless you do it "behind closed doors").

Are you changing departments in the same institution? If so - there may be something similar to a "noncompete" clause within the institution.


Full Member
10+ Year Member
7+ Year Member
Mar 23, 2008
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I recently worked with a FM resident who had the same issue. She stayed and finished her FM residency and then applied for Ob, so she wouldn't burn bridges with people in her FM program and put the program out a resident. However, she will most likely have to start into a PGY-1 position, since most of the places she is applying for don't have a PGY-2 opening or advanced start position. Currently I am working with a peds resident who decided she wanted to do surgery and she is finishing her residency too (this year) and she is applying for surgical spots, and knows she may have to take a PGY-1 spot.

IF you don't match into the Ob program where you are, then you basically are in a program you just told your director you didn't want to be in. That is like telling your wife you want another woman, and when it doesn't work, you come back to your wife and expect life to go on like normal. If you are 100% committed to Ob, it seems you wouldn't limit yourself to that one program and would decide to go after it.

Tough spot, but at the end of the day... you should follow what your heart tells you and where you will be happy. Upset FM director vs. you being an unhappy family medicine physician... which is worse?

Good luck!