Selected Podcast

Life as an Early Career OB/GYN Hospitalist

What started as a side gig for Dr. Rebecca Cisneros became her full-time career after her fellowship. Hear her story about becoming an early career OB hospitalist.
Life as an Early Career OB/GYN Hospitalist
Featured Speaker:
Rebecca Cisneros, MD
Dr. Rebecca Cisneros, an Obstetrics/Gynecologist (OB/GYN), comes to Prowers Medical Center from Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Ever since she was a child, she has been interested in healthcare. Her father was an OB/GYN, one of her grandfathers was a family medicine provider and the other was also an OB/GYN. 

Learn more about Rebecca Cisneros, MD

Prakash Chandran: What started as a side gig for Dr. Rebecca Cisneros became her full-time career after her fellowship. Today, you're going to hear her story about becoming an early career OB hospitalist. This is The Obstetrics Podcast from OB Hospitalist Group. My name is Prakash Chandran. So Dr. Cisneros, thank you so much for joining us today. I really appreciate your time. I'd love to get started by asking what made you decide to make the transition from residency into OB hospitalist medicine.

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yes. Well, I just want to say thank you for inviting me onto your podcast. I really appreciate it. And I always love talking about OBHG, because I think it's a great career opportunity for anybody pursuing an alternative career outside of residency. So initially, I went into OBHG because I was in a fellowship after residency and their schedule was just so flexible that I was able to kind of create my own hours during the weekends and days off that really fit my schedule with my fellowship. So that's how it originally started out.

Prakash Chandran: Okay. And so that flexibility obviously was extremely important to you. Is that correct?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yes. I have a four-year-old daughter, so she is very demanding of my time. And whenever I'm home, I like to be home with her. We like to go out, go camping, explore the area a lot. So it's nice not to be tied to my cell phone or worried about being on call during my time off and having to answer phone calls from the hospital. My time off is my time off, so that was really appealing to me.

Prakash Chandran: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. One thing that I've always been curious about is the relationship between the more experienced board-certified physicians and the newly minted OBs, you know, like yourself at the time. Can you talk a little bit about those dynamics?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yeah. So, coming out of residency initially, it's very intimidating. You know, you're going to be working with a lot of providers who are more experienced than you and are kind of set in their ways. But a good thing is that coming straight out of residency, we are kind of fresh and we're up-to-date on all the latest policies and procedures for OB/GYN. So, I look to the seniors in the hospital a lot for advice if I have any questions. But they also come to me and ask me like, "Hey, you know, I have this patient. What's the latest and greatest, you know, in ACOG?" because they may not be as versed or up-to-date on the policies. So it's a great relationship between us and the more seasoned providers, I find.

Prakash Chandran: And do you and the providers set up regular touchpoints or do you just connect on ad hoc basis?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yeah, it's usually on a case by case basis. If we have certain patients that we are co-managing together, because as a OB hospitalist, usually I will see their clinic patients in the OB triage and I will either pass over care to them or we will co-manage throughout the patient's stay in the hospital. So there is a lot of discussion back and forth between me and their providers basically on a case by case basis.

Prakash Chandran: Yeah. So I see here that you've worked at a hospital in Arkansas and now you're in Colorado Springs. So how are those different experiences for you? And do you like having travel as an option?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yeah. So for us, travel was great. Whenever I started out with OBHG, we just happened to be in Arkansas. But as we grew and the years went by, me and my family were deciding where we kind of want to settle down. And it was really nice knowing that OBHG has connections throughout the United States. And we could basically go wherever we wanted. And there was going to be a job available for me since I had already established with OBHG. So that's always good to know they can transfer you anywhere and you can basically still live in the area you want to live in and you can travel for work. So the stability of the career is also really nice.

Prakash Chandran: So, this is kind of related to something we touched on earlier. But, you know, some physicians are concerned that they won't have a relationship with patients as a hospitalist. Can you tell us a little bit about what your experience has been like?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yeah. So, the longer you work at a hospital, the more times you will see patients over and over again. It depends on what hospital you're at. Like in Arkansas, I would see patients from positive pregnancy tests, all the way to to term gestation. So I was seeing patients again and again in the emergency room. And, you know, I did get to develop a relationship with a lot of these patients. I was seeing them from, you know, eight weeks' gestation and then I happened to be delivering them at 39 weeks whenever they came in. So there is a lot of continuity. A few patients, I've even delivered them a couple of times. And a lot of times they remember me, I don't necessarily remember them. But they'll say, "Hey, you delivered my last baby a year ago." And I'm like, "Oh, awesome. Well, that's great." You know, continuity of care right there.

Prakash Chandran: Yeah, definitely. So I wanted to ask you, as you started as an early career physician, what resources were available to you?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: So initially in residency, OBHG did do some advertisement to our program. And I just happened to get some advertisements through one of my seniors and reached out to OBHG. But the people who I reached out to, I guess they're state dependent or site dependent. And they were very helpful. You know, I would explain to them my situation or what I'm looking for and they would kind of guide me and let me know what's available or how many shifts are available. But it was really, I think the site coordinators that I worked with very closely whenever I was onboarding with OBHG.

Prakash Chandran: You know, one of the things you talked about up at the top was the flexibility that this career provides. So can you talk about how you normalize that flexibility with, for example, a 24-hour shift?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yeah. So I started out just doing one shift a month with OBHG, and I grew slowly once I got more comfortable. I started doing three shifts a month. And then, after my fellowship, I just really enjoyed that type of work and that type of schedule that I ended up doing about seven to eight shifts a month. And that was basically a full schedule for me. I was able to make appropriate compensation for my lifestyle. And I was even making more than some of my colleagues who were in a more traditional schedule working 9:00 to 5:00, seven days a week plus call. I found whenever we compared salaries that I was actually making more than they were. And I only worked about 8 24-hour shifts a month, which gave me a lot more time off to be with my family. So for me, that was great.

Prakash Chandran: Yeah. So it sounds like something that you progressively eased into. And then, once you kind of got a handle on the work, you were able to take the shifts that accommodated with the lifestyles and what was important to you in your life. And as a cherry on top, you didn't have to sacrifice on compensation. Is that more or less correct?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Right. And typically, you're not signed into a three-year contract or this really long contract where you have to kind of pay back to the hospital. You know, you're very flexible. If you want to work two shifts a month, great. If you want to work eight shifts a month, great. I mean, you can make your own schedule. So if I wanted to take an entire month off to go on a vacation or a cross-country camping trip with my family, I have the luxury to be able to do. And I don't really have to ask for time off. I just say, "Hey, I'm not going to do shifts this month." And they're like, "Okay. Well, we'll see you next month."

Prakash Chandran: Yeah, that's great. So obviously, this is a career path that you would recommend for other colleagues of yours who might be finishing the residency programs, right?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: I do. I still keep in contact with a lot of my colleagues and we talk through texts about how things are going in our lives or how our schedule is. And a lot of my colleagues, we're only two or three years out of residency. I graduated in 2019 and half of them are already burnt out. You know, they've had a couple of kids since residency and their job is just really straining on their family and their personal life. So I always tell them like, "Hey, consider OBHG because it's a lot less stressful. And you're still fulfilled. You're still doing OB-GYN and you're still delivering patients and you're doing what you were trained to do. But you're also having that balance with life and getting to enjoy your family, which, you know, we've all worked hard in residency. And I think coming out of residency, we deserve to have that balance or a better balance than what we had in residency.

Prakash Chandran: In conclusion, one of the things that I want to expand on a little bit more is that flexibility component and why you have chosen to go down this career path. You mentioned that, when you're with your daughter, your four year old, you are a hundred percent with her and being a hospitalist affords you that flexibility. Can you just expand a little bit more on how you spend your free time and how important that flexibility is to you?

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Yeah, I think that's pretty much the best part, is that whenever I'm on call, I'm on call. I'm in the hospital 24 hours for my shift and whatever comes up and I work. But the next couple of days that I'm off, I could literally lose my cell phone and I don't care. Nobody's going to call me from the hospital, nobody's going to call me about a patient. I don't have to worry that I left patients back at the hospital or what might happen. We always sign out to the next hospitalist and that's it, your shift is done. So that's the best thing. I could go and my phone could die and sometimes on my off shifts, I don't even pick up my phone for the next three days. And it's great. So I think that's probably the best part, because a lot of my colleagues, they bring their work home with them. You know, they're at the clinic all day. They're seeing patients. They're documenting whenever they come home. They take their laptop home with them so they can continue to document. They can call patients, follow up lab results. And it's just a lot of time outside of work that you're putting into your job and you're sacrificing. So I always tell them OBHG is not like that. It's great. If you want a better family life and you want your husband and kids to like you more, consider OBHG.

Prakash Chandran: I think that's a perfect place to end. Dr. Cisneros, thank you so much for your time today.

Dr Rebecca Cisneros: Of course, thank you so much. Anytime.

Prakash Chandran: That was Dr. Rebecca Cisneros, an OB Hospitalist at OB Hospitalist Group. Thanks for checking out this episode of the OB Hospitalist Group Podcast series. To learn more, visit If you found this podcast to be helpful, please share it on your social channels and be sure to check out the entire podcast library for topics of interest to you. Thanks again for listening. My name's Prakash Chandran and we'll talk next time.