I had a great time on my ob/gyn service when I was a third year. So much so that I did an AI in ob/gyn and ultimately an intern year. I went into it for a number of reasons. I loved the patient population which consisted of young, healthy women, and older more complicated ones. The combination of surgery and clinic work was a bonus (although I didn't "love" surgery). And for the most part the work consisted of happy events (child birth). I knew the work would be hard and I did consider such things as lifestyle, lawsuit potential, and residency demands. But just knowing that I was doing what I wanted to should be enough to carry me through the challenges. However, in my intern year, I started to question whether the sacrifice was worth it. My spouse saw me less and less. Call was at least 24 hours (often 36 hours) and usually without sleep. An when I was on call, I worked hard feeling at times that I was working at or just past my limit. To add insult to injury, the reminders of lawsuits would come up from time to time. During didactic sessions, we would go over "difficult" cases and the message would be that about 2/3 of ob/gyns would be sued in their lifetime. Ultimately, I left ob/gyn. For me, the sacrifice was just too much. I thought things would get better after residency and to a certain extent they do. I talked to ob/gyns from Kaiser (HMO) and other groups who were done with residency. The life was better than that of a resident but still demaning. And when I looked at my own attendings, I realized that most of the female faculty were not married. Why would that be? I don't have definate answers but I think it all related to the sacrifices that every ob/gyn must accept. Those include the sleepless nights, sometimes long hours, potential for lawsuit and settlement despite doing everything you could and doing it right, family, etc. For me, the best decision was to move on to something else. Now that I have done so, I am so much happier. I have more balance in my life and am still doing something I love.
Everyone has to make his/her own decision. I too was persuaded not to do ob/gyn when I was a medical student. Ironically, now I often encounter students going into ob/gyn asking me what I think. I can only tell then what I went through with a disclaimer that they must do what feels right for them.