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Careers in Medicine: Marta Perez, MD, Academic Obstetrics

Meet Dr. Marta Perez. She is an board certified OBGYN, YouTuber, social media superstar and new mama. She is an amazing educator and fierce advocate. We met in real life a year ago at a conference. My flight was delayed and she showed up with fries and kept me company while I pumped. I am so happy to call her a friend, and she inspires me every day. Give her a follow on social media and subscribe to her Youtube channel, you wont regret it!

Name: Marta Perez MD Job title: OB-GYN, I currently work as a laborist Type of practice: Academic, full time Social media: @dr.martaperez. This is her YouTube channel.

Journey to medicine

Medical training Undergrad: Georgetown University, B.A. in Psychology, 2010 Medical school: Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, 2014 Residency: WashU School of Medicine in St. Louis Why did you choose this field?

I chose OB-GYN because reproductive healthcare is often overlooked and under-appreciated in society yet it is the most foundational type of healthcare. I also loved the combination of preventative and interventional problems, and combination of medicine and surgery. How did you make your CV stand out? For medical school or residency?

I like to make sure my CV represents more than just my academic accomplishments, but also who I am as a person and what my passions are so that I stand out as an individual. For example, I include my marathon completions and often include an organization or involvement that is outside medicine but shows a passion or hobby. How much research experience did you have when you applied for medical school? For residency?

For medical school, I worked in a Psychology lab in undergrad for 2 years, I did not have publications but I was involved in many ongoing projects. It was not directly related to medicine at all - it was working with digital media learning. In medical school, I participated in a few different projects, probably less than my peers but I started the projects - I think the initiative was important instead of just "jumping on" something that someone else did most of the work behind creating. What is the most fulfilling thing about your career?

Both the moments of intense joy and intense grief. Walking both of these paths is unique to obstetrics. What is the least fulfilling thing about your career?

Overnight work.

Work life

What does a day in the life look like for you?

As a Laborist, I work exclusively in the hospital. I work shifts of weeks, similar to 1 week on, 1 week off. I work some weekends. I see postpartum patients, laboring patients, and do vaginal deliveries and C-sections. I am academic meaning I work with residents and medical students, I love the collaborative environment. How many hours a week do you work?

When I'm on, about 50 hours per week (either 5 day shifts or 4 night shifts), a week I'm off may have no work or a single 24 hour shift.

What are common conditions you manage?

Labor & birth, preeclampsia, preterm birth, postpartum health, breastfeeding.

What is your favorite condition to manage?


What is a big misconception about your field?

That OB's want to do C-sections for everyone. Every OB I know wants vaginal births as their highest priority! What is something surprising that you do in your job?

A really important part of postpartum health is contraception, we want to make sure women are able to space their pregnancies in a way that is healthy for them and their babies, so I do a lot of contraceptive counseling. Do you perform procedures?

Yes - minor procedures and surgeries.

Life outside work

What are your hobbies or interests outside medicine?

Working out, reading, cooking. Do you feel like your have work-life balance? If so, how do you achieve it?

Yes. I believe in advocating for what you want out of a position and career and prioritizing what makes you the most happy. Any last words of wisdom for those considering a career in medicine?

Medicine will never be a "job." It is a vocation - a sense of a calling and duty. It will never be easy but it can absolutely be worth it when you're in it for the right reasons and choose the specialty and environment that is right for you.

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