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Hayley1 Neonatology or Obstetrics Getting the call on September 24, 2008 was one of the most exciting days.

My youngest sister Taryne had just been born. As my Nana drove my other siblings and myself to the hospital my anticipation to meet my new baby sister increased. When we got to the hospital, I was a little surprised at first by all of the precautionary instructions I had to take before meeting my baby sister such as putting on special booties over my shoes and a gown over my clothing. After putting on my new sterile outfit, I was given the opportunity to meet Taryne for the first time. She was precious aside from the tiny incubator glass I was forced to look at her through and all of the tiny wires and IVs connected to her due to her having an abnormal heart condition. This was a setting I became accustomed to going to everyday after school for the next month and a half. When visiting my baby sister Taryne day after day, in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), I came to the realization that I wanted to pursue a medical career whose patients consisted of mainly infants. What I Knew After over a month of visiting my sister, Taryne, I began to learn a little about what the doctors do to help the little newborns in the NICU. Through my sisters abnormal heart condition, I learned how the heart monitors worked and what the beeping noises on the machines meant. I also learned that the NICU consists of many different types of medical professionals taking care of various patient conditions depending on their specific medical needs. Out of all of the medical professionals I saw in the NICU, the Neonatologists fascinated me the most. Neonatologists are one of the main professionals who work alongside Neonatal nurses and other medical personnel in order to try to get the newborns in the NICU healthy so that they can go home to their awaiting families. I was amazed by how much the Neonatologists were all so

Hayley2 happy with their jobs and loved taking care of children. This made me realize that my desire to work with infants in the medical setting could potentially lead me to become a Neonatologist. Becoming a Neonatologist seems like a likely career path for myself because it gives me the opportunity to help newborns in need. I think I would feel great satisfaction if at the end of a long work day, I would be able to proudly say that I had helped many newborns become a little bit healthier or even healthy enough to be discharged to their awaiting families. Due to being the eldest sister to three other siblings, I have gotten my fair share of going to the hospital to visit newborns. Through going to the hospital to meet my siblings for the first time after they had been born, I also gained an interest in becoming an Obstetrician. An Obstetrician, known as an OB-GYN, is someone who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth, and womens health. Many people refer to obstetricians as medical specialists who solely deliver babies. However, obstetricians are often also Gynecologists who see patients with menopausal problems, breast cancer, and other women issues. The idea of becoming an Obstetrician seems appealing to me because I enjoy the idea of being able to deliver babies through both natural and cesarean section settings. Not only does being a medical professional delivering babies interest me, but I also enjoy the idea of being able to interact with the mother and taking care of her during her prenatal care.

Why I am Writing this Paper Finding more about both careers as an Obstetrician and Neonatologist early on in my college experience with hopefully allow me to become clearer on my educational path that I am looking forward to. Knowing the career I want to pursue will allow me to plan accordingly for

Hayley3 the future and create a road map for the steps I need to take to become either a Neonatologist or an Obstetrician. Not only do I want to figure out the educational requirements for each profession, but I also would like to compare the average salary for someone in one of the following professions because having a steady job is a key contender when choosing the career path. I also think I need to become more aware of what the emotional demands are when being a Neonatologist or Obstetrician and whether I can handle these demands. Finding out the emotional demands of each job choice will hopefully allow me to also see whether I am capable of working in the environmental setting of the NICU, delivery room, or other medical environment. I hope that after doing my research and comparing these two different types of medical professions, I will be able to choose which career path best suits me and be able to begin planning my future around what I need to accomplish in order to becoming either a Neonatologist or Obstetrician. The Search In order to begin figuring out what type of medical profession I would like to become involved in, I began my search by signing up for the Regional Occupational Program (ROP) Medical Occupations course at my high school. Through ROP Medical Occupations, I learned about a wide variety of medical career paths that you can take and was also given the opportunity to gain more than 200 internship hours at the Valley Care Ambulatory Surgery Center in Livermore. In the ROP class sessions, our class focused on anatomy, medical billing, researching medical careers and much more. Being able to take this course as a high school student, allowed me to begin comparing the pros and cons to becoming either a Neonatologist or Obstetrician. I learned that Neonatologists must learn to work in an environment where stress levels are high

Hayley4 because there is a lot of pressure to perform at your best in order to save the lives of newborns who are not healthy enough to go home. When researching about Obstetricians in class, I learned that because some Obstetricians are also Gynecologists, not all OBGYNs work in the delivery room setting. Not working in the delivery room setting allows some OBGYNs to work in a setting that has less stress involved. Having the opportunity to intern at the Valley Care Ambulatory Surgery Center allowed me to obtain hands on experience working in a hospital setting. Through this internship, I was able to be mentored by the RN nurses and Surgeons in order to learn how to complete basic tasks in the hospital such as phone etiquette, infection control procedures and how to get patients ready for surgery by taking their vital signs, medical history, and having them sign consent forms. By learning these basic tasks and being in the atmosphere of the hospitals Surgery Center, I was able to gain an idea of what it is like to work in a medical setting where it is constantly busy and there is high pressure to work diligently and balance a variety of tasks at once. After my ROP Medical Occupations classroom experience and internship, I shifted my focus to doing research on the internet in order to discover more about Neonatologists. I began my internet research on searching for the educational background you must gain in order to become a Neonatologist. Through my research I found that after graduating high school, I must obtain a four year college degree. While in college, it is necessary for me to complete pre-med requirements. After I get my four year college degree, I should then jump into medical school in order to become a general pediatrician. Once medical school has been completed, I would be required to spend three years partaking in a Neonatology Fellowship where my time would be split between working in the NICU under a Neonatologist, doing clinical and basic science research, and learning about neonatal complications and diseases. As part of my Neonatology

Hayley5 Fellowship, I am also required to create a plan, carry it out, and write an article about a research topic on the subject of newborn care. Along with completing about 14 years of schooling in order to become a Neonatologist, I also learned that I am required to pass a variety of exams. As an undergraduate student, I must pass the MCAT exam in order to be eligible to enter medical school. I also am required to pass a set of national medical examinations during my time in medical school and internships, in order to become licensed to practice medicine in the state I am in. I also must complete the USMLE steps one through three in order to graduate medical school, graduate my residency program, and get my medical license. I also have to take the Pediatric Board exam in order to become certified as a Pediatrician and be given the opportunity to be eligible for the Neonatology Boards. The last step in order to become a Neonatologist is to pass the Neonatology Boards exam so that I can become certified as a subspecialist in neonatal-perinatal medicine in the United States. After being overloading with all of the requirements it takes to become a Neonatologist, I shifted my research to the yearly income range. I found that income range can fluctuate depending on where I work, how many years of experience I have, the number and acuity of patients, whether I work in an academic center or private hospital, and many other factors. On average, a recently graduated Neonatologist in a low acuity or academic hospital will make a profit of about $75,000 dollars a year. Whereas, a veteran Neonatologist who takes the role of providing direct patient care to the infants and taking in-house night calls in a high acuity private setting will make about $250,000 a year. Once I found out that a Neonatologist can make a reasonable amount of money per year, I decided to find more information on the emotional aspects required when being a Neonatologist. Due to being required to make decisions on how to help a patient, I have to

Hayley6 maintain a practical persona, be able to take action quickly, and have the expertise and enough experience in order to get healthy outcomes from the patients. At the end of the day, all of the patients family members will be worried about the patient and want them to be able to come home safely as soon as possible. It will be my job as the Neonatologist to not only take care of the sick patient, but also to empathize with the parents and reassure them that I will do everything to the best of my ability to help the patient become healthy enough to be discharged. Due to being able to find everything I wanted to know about becoming and being a Neonatologist such as the educational path, average salary, and emotional requirements I began to shift my focus to becoming an Obstetrician. Through more online research, I found that like being a Neonatologist I would be required to obtain and Bachelors Degree and also strive throughout medical school. While in medical school, I would be participating in both classroom settings and in clinical rotations. It is important that if I choose to go this route that I excel in the third year OB/GYN clinical rotation and participate in a sub-internship in the Obstetrics field before applying for residency. Once I obtain an MD degree and become part of an OB/GYN program, I would be required to complete a four-year residency training program. Becoming an Obstetrician would require passing various exams and getting certain certificates. I would have to pass the MCAT exam in order to get into medical school and would have to complete three of the USMLE exams in order to gain certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Looking at the educational requirements to become an Obstetrician, I now realize that becoming a Neonatologist will take a few more years of education and a lot more studying for exams. After figuring out the educational requirements to become an Obstetrician, I searched the internet for the average salaries of Obstetricians. Through this internet search, I found that during

Hayley7 residency training the salary could vary from 45,000-60,000 dollars a year. Once residency is completed, the average person generally makes between 200,000 and 250,000 dollars a year. Although this yearly estimated salary seems like a large amount of money, most Obstetricians are faced with high malpractice insurance premiums.

To put an end to my research, I decided to look up what the emotional requirements for being an Obstetrician were. Due to Obstetricians being able to fulfill various tasks, their work environment can demand different emotional aspects depending on what department they are working in. Obstetricians who also gain training in gynecologic oncology mainly perform surgeries in pressure filled settings. Whereas OB/GYNs who decide to do both obstetrics and gynecology tasks are often more relaxed because they have a database with mainly the same patients. OBGYNs who decide to solely focus on the Obstetrics tasks are given the opportunity to deliver babies. However, delivering babies requires more dedication than simply having regular patients for Gynecological reasons because it is uncertain when you will be required to assist with patients who are in the labor and delivery ward.

What I Learned After researching the educational requirements, average salaries, and emotional requirements of both Neonatologists and Obstetricians and comparing them to each other, I have found that I would like to pursue my educational career path in the direction of becoming a Neonatologist. Although both Neonatologists and Obstetricians have very important roles in the medical field, I think striving to accomplish more education in order to become a Neonatologist feels more fulfilling. Once I become a Neonatologist, I think I will feel grateful for the opportunity to help save the lives of many newborns each year and allow families to take home

Hayley8 the amazing gift of caring for a newborn who has already endured various health obstacles in their short time of living.

Hayley9 Works Cited "AAP.org." AAP.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. "How to Become an OB/GYN Doctor." InnerBody. Innerbody.com, n.d. Web. 09 Dec. 2013. "How to Become an Obstetrician: Education and Career Roadmap." Http://educationportal.com/. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. "Neonatologist Salary in Livermore, CA - Neonatologist Salary." Neonatologist Salary in Livermore, CA - Neonatologist Salary. N.p., n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. "Neonatology on the Web: Neonatology as a Career." Neonatology on the Web: Neonatology as a Career. N.p., 19 June 2003. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. "Physician - Pediatric Neonatology Salary | Salary.com." Salary.com. Kenexa, n.d. Web. 5 Dec. 2013. "What Is a Neonatologist?" HealthyChildren.org. American Academy of Pediatrics, 30 July 2012. Web. 10 Dec. 2013.