A Day in the Life of an OB/GYN Resident | RoshReview.com

A Day in the Life of an OB/GYN Resident

July 7, 2023
Trying to write about the “typical” day for an OB/GYN resident is nearly impossible, since they are all vastly different—that’s probably one of the reasons you chose to be an OB/GYN! But, that said, there are some things you can expect to do on a given day. And in this post, I’m going to paint a picture of what a day in the life of an OB/GYN resident is like. As you’ll see, there is plenty of excitement! 
Let’s start this off with how you’ll likely start your day as an OB/GYN resident: postpartum rounding! 

Starting Your Day: “The 8 Bs”

Baby. Breastfeeding. Bleeding. Bowel movement. Bladder function. Birth control. Blues. Belly.

The eight “Bs” of a postpartum visit is how most of your days are going to start. Before board report, before starting labor inductions—and sometimes even before your first cup of coffeemany days as an intern will begin with postpartum rounding.

You’ll repeat these questions so many times you could do it in your sleep—and sometimes, it may feel like you are still asleep! Even though it may not feel like it, starting the day with postpartum rounding is a great way to check in on your patients, establish continuity of care, and set the tone for a full day of taking care of patients.

Many residency programs are heavy in OB rotations for the first year, which is crucial since you’ll spend the next 4 years being responsible for antepartum, intrapartum, and postpartum patients. Most interns will have a few other rotations like benign gynecology or a gynecologic oncology rotation. Your typical day will still start with checking in on those patients.

Next Up: Board Report

After rounding on all your patients, it’s time for board report. Board report might involve sitting around a table or standing in front of the labor board, but either way, the night and day teams (usually the junior and senior residents, attendings, charge nurse, anesthesia team, and sometimes the MFM team) will be present, and the overnight intern and oncoming intern will be responsible for giving everybody a brief summary of what is going on with the laboring patients.

This is going to seem scary at first, and you might ask yourself how you could possibly know the details of 15 different laboring patients, but you’ll be a pro in no time! If you’re on a GYN rotation, board report will mostly involve summarizing overnight events to your senior resident and/or attending and coming up with a plan for the day then getting ready for any surgeries that you are assigned to.

Labor and Delivery Time! 

Depending on the setup of your OB rotations, you’ll most likely head over to labor and delivery (L&D) after board report. This is when things really start to get fun! Your three main responsibilities throughout the day as the OB intern will likely be seeing triage patients, managing labor, and doing deliveries.


Most of the patients coming into triage will have one of the following concerns: contractions, leaking of fluid, vaginal bleeding, or decreased fetal movement. Make sure you ask everybody about these, then you will work with the rest of your team to determine if the patient should stay or go.


Managing labor will involve starting inductions, in which case you might use misoprostol, a cervical ripening balloon, oxytocin, or a combination of these. Work with your senior resident and attending physician to decide how to manage a patient’s labor, and always think about what you can do for each patient to move them toward delivery. 


At some point, you’ll hear the words that we all know and love: “Can I get a resident to room 10 for delivery?” You probably remember seeing your first delivery as a medical student and thinking, “Wow! I would love to do that someday!” Well, now’s your chance!

You will, of course, have a whole team to attend a delivery, but most programs have new residents delivering babies from day one. Even if you’re exhausted, there is nothing more invigorating and rewarding than bringing new life into this world.

As you already know, for various reasons about ⅓ of births in the United States take place via cesarean delivery. This will be your main surgical responsibility as an OB/GYN resident. Some of your days may start with scheduled C-sections, and other days may involve urgent or emergent C-sections, so expect to gain graduated responsibility in the operating room.

As you progress from an intern to a second year and an upper-level resident, your job on L&D will shift from triaging patients and managing labor to supervising other residents, managing complicated antepartum patients, and performing more difficult cesarean deliveries.

What About GYN Rotations? 

If you’re on a GYN rotation, your day will look much different. In contrast to the ever-changing flow of L&D, the gynecology world is a bit more predictable.

Surgical Cases

After rounds, you’ll probably attend surgical cases and help manage the inpatient service. As an intern, you will learn how to perform minor procedures such as hysteroscopy and dilation and curettage (D&C), progressing to operative laparoscopy, and before you know it, you’ll be a senior resident performing hysterectomies! The flow of the day will be similar whether you’re on a benign gynecologic rotation, minimally invasive gynecology, or gynecologic oncology, just with a different subset of patients.


Another part of being on a gynecologic rotation is holding the consult pager. When you were a medical student, you probably remember how excited you were to have your own pager some day, and now you do!

You will get consults from the emergency department (ED) as well as some inpatient services, so your job will be to review the patient’s chart, take a history, perform a physical exam with appropriate supervision, and develop a plan with the rest of your team.

A Note on Documentation

Regardless of whether you’re on an OB or GYN rotation, throughout every portion of your day, you’ll have to document nearly everything you do in the electronic medical record (EMR). This may seem tedious at times, but it’s essential for communicating with the rest of the healthcare team. Clinical care always comes before documentation, but try not to let yourself fall too behind on writing triage notes, operative reports, and discharge summaries.

Wrapping Up Your Day

Your day will conclude with a sign-out to the night team. This might be a formal board report as you did in the morning, but it’ll more likely be a direct resident-to-resident handoff. You’ll summarize all of the important events of the day, hand off the pager, and head home!

Now it’s time for the most important part of your day—not thinking about work! Eat dinner, pet your dog, go for a run, watch Netflix, read a book, or do whatever it is that you need to do to recharge your batteries and prepare for another day at the best job in the world!

Further Reading

For more tips to help you through OB/GYN residency, check out these other (free!) articles on the Rosh Review blog:

By Zachary Schoppen, MD

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