Dr Natalie Shaw and I have pretty much covered each other’s weekends, study leave and holidays on a one in two roster (12 days on and two days off) now for ten years.
This is an unusually onerous out of hours roster (many obstetricians work in groups of up to four or five doctors) although working in this way has enabled us to provide our patients with a very personalised service. Unfortunately we aren’t getting any younger and we both face a number of challenges including ageing parents and – in my case – a wife that works in Melbourne.
Anyway we have taken the step of gradually including a third obstetrician into our weekend roster over the course of this year. This is not a step we have taken lightly and indeed we have waited until a suitably qualified, experienced obstetrician could help us out. This doctor is Justin Tucker who has trained in Melbourne and Sydney at RPA Hospital. Justin is also a Fertility Specialist working at Monash IVF next door to my office. Justin will be seeing patients in my rooms so – as with Natalie – you will have a chance to meet him before the birth of your baby to continue with our “no strangers” policy.
I know this is a big change. I spent the first 5 years of my private practice life pretty much doing all of my weekends prior to Natalie and I getting together (professionally, that is) and then we have covered each other for the last ten but to be truthful doing so has become exhausting even though both of us have smaller practices than many other obstetricians.
Keep an eye on the Whiteboard in my office for our weekend and leave roster and remember I always strive to continue to provide the highest standards of care.