05/01/24

On demand webinar: Exploring the role of an OB hospitalist

Are you an OB/GYN contemplating a transition in your career path? Perhaps you’re seeking a better work-life balance or a solution to extending your career. In this webinar recap, we explore what it truly means to be an OB hospitalist with Dr. John Perch, Medical Director of Operations, and Dr. Teresa Marlino, Market Medical Director for Ob Hospitalist Group. With decades of experience in obstetrics and gynecology, they offer valuable perspectives on the OB hospitalist lifestyle and its myriad of benefits. 

Click here to listen to the entire webinar. 

A Day in the Life 

One of the most intriguing aspects of OB hospitalist work is the variability of the daily routine. Dr. Marlino outlines three distinct scenarios she encounters in her practice, ranging from academic settings where she oversees OB resident care and education, to working in community hospitals with no resident involvement. This diversity ensures that OB hospitalists are prepared for any situation, whether it’s guiding OB residents or providing direct patient care. Because Ob Hospitalist Group hosts comprehensive career paths in 39 states and counting, there is truly an option for every clinician’s unique preference. 

“The first scenario is my position at St. Luke’s Anderson Campus, a Level One trauma center and a Level Three NICU where we take babies from viability upwards. At this hospital, we have an OB/GYN residency program, a robust Maternal Fetal Medicine Service, GYN oncology, and a full-scale academic program. When we work as an OB hospitalist there, we supervise the residents providing care for their clinic patients. During the week we do board rounds and everyone is present, including Maternal Fetal Medicine. At this hospital, we see about 3,000 deliveries per year, so it is a very busy hospital. 

The second scenario is at St. Luke’s Upper Bucks Campus. At this hospital, we work with a group of community doctors and no residents. The two community doctor groups take a combined call coverage, so our job there is pretty much running triage for them so that they can focus on labor management and the operating room. We also take care of any unannounced patients as well as the ones who show up from another hospital or have had no prenatal care.   

My third scenario is a hospital system up in the Poconos. In that situation, we are the only doctor there and there are no community doctors to assist or share call coverage. All the community doctors are working out of their private practices. We come in the morning, do rounds, manage all the labor, do any of the scheduled or unscheduled C sections, and take care of all the patients admitted to our floor. In this hospital partnership, the idea is that they are trying to keep their doctors in the office seeing patients and then we are managing everyone in the hospital. I enjoy going to this program because it is truly so varied.” 

-Dr. Teresa Marlino

In–house maternal safety champions 

As in-house experts and maternal safety champions, OB hospitalists play a crucial role in ensuring optimal patient outcomes. Dr. Perch emphasizes the importance of collaborative partnerships with nursing staff and community providers, fostering a culture of trust and mutual support. 

“At the end of the day, we all want to reduce morbidity and mortality for women. As an OB hospitalist, we want to make sure that someone is there when private physicians can’t be there. What’s most important to me is education. Sometimes we must reeducate nursing staff and some physicians about the current guidelines, which is vital to ensure everyone is on the same page.  I think what is important for all relationships with hospitals is that we want to meet that hospital where they are, create a partnership with them, and then start moving to maximize patient safety. We are looking as an organization at some of the safety standards not only across our nation in general, but also at outcomes that are related to specific hospitals. Having doctors in-house 24/7 is so important with maintaining and setting the standard of safety.” 

-Dr. John Perch 

  

Integration into hospital settings 

One common question among physicians considering OB hospitalist roles is how they integrate into hospital environments. Dr. Marlino highlights the tailored approach OBHG takes, assessing each hospital’s needs and providing comprehensive support. From clinical coverage to leadership opportunities, OB hospitalists find themselves seamlessly integrated into hospital teams, earning the respect and trust of their colleagues. 

“Sometimes when we begin a hospital partnership, staff thinks we’re coming there to take over. But that’s never the case. Once we’re there for about six months, they realize that this really is a partnership and it’s not adversarial.   

 I think that the ‘not a one size fits all option’ that we offer is a perfect solution. When we are in the first discussions with that hospital, we really want to find out what does this hospital partner need? Where are they now? How can we help provide that service? The most important thing to me is having the hospital staff know you’re going to be there and work alongside them in the trenches to get the job done.   

I remember when I first became an OB/GYN I always used to say I thought my colleagues were the physicians, but when you become an OB hospitalist, your colleagues are the nurses, the nurse manager, the unit clerk, the surgical techs, the housekeeping staff, and everyone else who is right there beside you. It’s common to see OBHG physicians become the department chair, the head of perinatal safety, or another department head because they are so integrated with the hospital staff.” 

-Dr. Teresa Marlino  

 

Work-life balance and personal advantages of the OB hospitalist lifestyle 

For many physicians, transitioning to the OB hospitalist lifestyle offers a welcome reprieve from the demands of traditional practice. Drs. Perch and Marlino share their experiences of achieving a better work-life balance, enjoying scheduled shifts, and having more time for personal pursuits. With opportunities for continued career growth and a supportive work environment, OB hospitalists find fulfillment and longevity in their profession. 

“I think the OB hospitalist lifestyle really provides that better balance and lifestyle, but it also is a way to extend your career. I know people who are so burnt out and then they become an OB hospitalist everything changes. When I’m on, I’m on and when I’m off, I pass the baton and I can just turn off the phone if I want to. Most people work seven days a month as a full-time physician for Ob Hospitalist Group, but full time is considered anywhere from five shifts upward. Those other 21 days are your days to schedule your exercise class, your mammogram, you know all the things that you put off year after year. And then most importantly, for those who still have small kids at home, it’s that time when they know you’re going to be home which is something to cherish.” 

-Dr. Teresa Marlino 

 

“I remember we were at a National Clinical Leadership meeting for all the site directors and leadership and there was a presenter who asked, “what’s your biggest regret for not finding this job sooner?” and I can’t tell you the number of parents in the room who were literally crying because they regretted missing so many experiences with their children. What we also see in terms of lifestyle is a lot of people don’t think about this as a great retirement plan. You want to still be active as long as you can because this is what you put your heart and soul into and paid a lot of money to do, but you can’t work 72-hour shifts for the rest of your life. So, it’s great to just slowly transition out of it by working 5 shifts a month, as opposed to just having a finality to it.” 

-Dr. John Perch  

 

Educational opportunities and support 

Continuous learning and professional development are integral to the OBHG experience. Dr. Marlino discusses the various educational resources available to OB hospitalists, from online modules to annual clinical meetings. This commitment to ongoing education ensures that our OB hospitalists remain at the forefront of obstetric care, delivering excellence with every patient interaction. 

“Absolutely I am still teaching, all day every day whether that be for residents or my own patients. Women today are most appreciative of a physician who takes the time to sit down in the chair and explains what’s going on with them. In fact, I think there’s more time for education as a hospitalist than there ever was in the office. I feel like I have a more singular focus when I’m in labor and delivery. I feel like I have an opportunity to educate much better in the hospital setting than I ever did in the office.” 

-Dr. Teresa Marlino 

 

Join the OBHG team 

Want to learn more about becoming an OB hospitalist? OBHG offers exciting career opportunities across the nation. Whether you’re a seasoned practitioner or a recent graduate, there’s a place for you in our dedicated team. But don’t just take it from us, read what our doctors have to say and hear our most common FAQs. 

Reach out to our recruiting department or visit our website for more information on current openings and how to join us in making a difference in women’s healthcare. 

Click here to listen to the entire webinar. 

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