Military Families

Woman's Health vs. Familly Practice

So the OB coordinator called me today and said they like to see patients between 8 and 9 weeks. She said I had a choice between seeing Woman's health or being seen in the Family Practice office. I asked her the difference and she said in Woman's Health you see an OB but its not guarenteed you will have the same doctor every visit and who ever is on call during delivery will be the doctor you see. In Family practice you see a family practice doctor and its the same doctor throughout your pregnancy and that doctor is present for the birth.

Is this the common way things are handled? I have no idea as I've never made it this far in a pregnancy before. With those options, which would you choose?

BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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Re: Woman's Health vs. Familly Practice

  • When we lived in Chicago I was seen by women's health for prenatal but then would have been referred out because they didn't deliver at the hospital. This sounds a bit different. Me personally? I'd choose the Women's Health solely because OBs specialize in pregnancy and childbirth. Even if it meant rotating between doctors.

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    CJ 05/29/2013

  • I think I'd choose women's health even with rotating doctors. I think I remember you saying you we're high risk? If that were the case, I'd definitely choose OB.
    "The first time his laughter unfurled its wings in the world, we knew that life would never be the same."
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  • Did they say how many OBs are at the women's health office?  I have Standard and go to a civilian office, but there are 3 OBs and it's run pretty similar.  You can choose your Dr. and schedule as many of your appts with them as you want, but they require you to see all OBs at least once because any could be on call when you deliver.  Personally I don't mind it at all because all the OBs are great and I'm comfortable with any of the 3 of them being there for me delivery.  If it was like 10 of them though in the office though then it might be different.  
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  • image Igoo0304:
    I think I'd choose women's health even with rotating doctors. I think I remember you saying you we're high risk? If that were the case, I'd definitely choose OB.

    My RE actually concluded that I am not high risk after seeing the u/s so I am no longer being seen in that clinic. As much as I enjoyed going there it was over an hour away so I am looking forward to the local treatment. Is it common in military care to have a different doctor in regards to baby's care before and after birth? Some of the answers I am hearing IRL are yes, so I almost feel silly asking now.

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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  • image Beachy730:
    Did they say how many OBs are at the women's health office?  I have Standard and go to a civilian office, but there are 3 OBs and it's run pretty similar.  You can choose your Dr. and schedule as many of your appts with them as you want, but they require you to see all OBs at least once because any could be on call when you deliver.  Personally I don't mind it at all because all the OBs are great and I'm comfortable with any of the 3 of them being there for me delivery.  If it was like 10 of them though in the office though then it might be different.  
    I am active duty so Standard isnt an option to me. I will definitely call and ask how many doctors per clinic there are in helping me decide which to choose. Thank you for the response!

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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  • image *HiS ChAmAoLe GiRL*:

    image Igoo0304:
    I think I'd choose women's health even with rotating doctors. I think I remember you saying you we're high risk? If that were the case, I'd definitely choose OB.

    My RE actually concluded that I am not high risk after seeing the u/s so I am no longer being seen in that clinic. As much as I enjoyed going there it was over an hour away so I am looking forward to the local treatment. Is it common in military care to have a different doctor in regards to baby's care before and after birth? Some of the answers I am hearing IRL are yes, so I almost feel silly asking now.

    I went to the OB/GYN clinic for my pregnancy (our hospital splits women's health in to two clinics, one for bc and pap smears and such and the other for pregnancy/fertility), I could make appointments with the same doctor every time (as long as they had an opening), but I saw SO many different providers since you never know who is on call when you deliver.  Eventually, when they determined I was high risk, I saw the same doctor for the rest of my pregnancy, he did not deliver me however, since he wasn't on call when the decision was made to induce me.  For OB care, it seems pretty common to rotate through docs, because it was this way at Benning (where I started my pregnancy) and Riley (where I ended my pregnancy).

    For pediatrician, here at least, they are assigned a peds PCM, but they could see another peds doc your first visit (which is walk in, so it's whoever is in well baby that day).  So, it can rotate, but here at some point your kid starts to see their peds PCM.  I don't know if this is common anywhere but Riley.

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  • I think a lot depends on how much emphasis you put on your birth experience and the type of prenatal care you receive. In general, family practice doctors are less intervention happy and spend more time with you during appointments, etc. 

     Personally, I would choose family practice because of my choice to have unmediated births and I feel, in general, OBs are more risk adversed than most family practice doctors that also see obstetric cases.  

    You can also ask whether the OB office would allow you to see one provider for all visits regardless of who will be there for delivery. Usually they will allow you to do that for continuity of care but you do have to remember that that practitioner likely wont be there at your birth.  

  • image ArmyWife114:
    image *HiS ChAmAoLe GiRL*:

    image Igoo0304:
    I think I'd choose women's health even with rotating doctors. I think I remember you saying you we're high risk? If that were the case, I'd definitely choose OB.

    My RE actually concluded that I am not high risk after seeing the u/s so I am no longer being seen in that clinic. As much as I enjoyed going there it was over an hour away so I am looking forward to the local treatment. Is it common in military care to have a different doctor in regards to baby's care before and after birth? Some of the answers I am hearing IRL are yes, so I almost feel silly asking now.

    I went to the OB/GYN clinic for my pregnancy (our hospital splits women's health in to two clinics, one for bc and pap smears and such and the other for pregnancy/fertility), I could make appointments with the same doctor every time (as long as they had an opening), but I saw SO many different providers since you never know who is on call when you deliver.  Eventually, when they determined I was high risk, I saw the same doctor for the rest of my pregnancy, he did not deliver me however, since he wasn't on call when the decision was made to induce me.  For OB care, it seems pretty common to rotate through docs, because it was this way at Benning (where I started my pregnancy) and Riley (where I ended my pregnancy).

    For pediatrician, here at least, they are assigned a peds PCM, but they could see another peds doc your first visit (which is walk in, so it's whoever is in well baby that day).  So, it can rotate, but here at some point your kid starts to see their peds PCM.  I don't know if this is common anywhere but Riley.

    Sorry for the crazy-long quote, but this was similar to my experience at lakenheath. DS always saw his PCM unless it was an emergency because of his SN. DS's PCM was there for his birth and checked on him over the weekend when he was born. 

    And yay for not being high risk anymore! 

    "The first time his laughter unfurled its wings in the world, we knew that life would never be the same."
    11.27.09*03.04.11*11.02.12*03.04.13*04.12.13*EDD 01.07.15

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    *~*All AL Welcome*~*

  • DH is active duty, and I go over an hour to the nearest military base with an OB department. I rotate through the staff of 11 doctors and 10 midwives. When I call to schedule, I can request someone specifically. It's not guaranteed, but I usually see who I want. Delivery may be any if them though. My understanding is that is pretty normal.
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  • My PCM is an OB in the Family Medicine Clinic, but also works over in Women's Health.  I left it up to my PCM which clinic handled my pregnancy.  She switched me over to Women's Health for both of my pregnancies since her OB schedule was full at Family Medicine.  She said that Women's Health is better equipped to handle high risk pregnancies and she could still keep an eye on my pregnancy herself that way since her schedule at the Family Medicine was full.  I met all of the doctors at Women's Health while I was pregnant with my first and I liked them all.  I had hoped that my PCM would be the one on call when I was induced, but she wasn't.  The doctor who did deliver my daughter though did a great job despite the complications I had during the delivery.  
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  • Why don't you ask some other people who've been pregnant where you are?  They may have more insight on the pluses and minuses of each route.  I wasn't given that type of choice, but I do like going to the OB clinic because they have ultrasounds in each room, have OB Rx's and over the counter stuff (like vaginal creams and iron supplements) right here, and can do simple lab tests in the on site lab.  That being said, I don't think I'm assigned to an OB, have seen two different midwives and one rather surly OB, and feel my care is rather haphazard.  But I guess you have that anywhere in the military.
  • image Carnation77:
    Why don't you ask some other people who've been pregnant where you are?  They may have more insight on the pluses and minuses of each route.  I wasn't given that type of choice, but I do like going to the OB clinic because they have ultrasounds in each room, have OB Rx's and over the counter stuff (like vaginal creams and iron supplements) right here, and can do simple lab tests in the on site lab.  That being said, I don't think I'm assigned to an OB, have seen two different midwives and one rather surly OB, and feel my care is rather haphazard.  But I guess you have that anywhere in the military.

    Some Family Practices have U/S in the rooms too.  My PCM did an U/S on me at the FMR at a regular appointment for medication adjustment, before she decided to send me over to Women's  Health.  If the Family Practice at your base clinic handles pregnancies, I would think they would have at least one portable U/S machine in their possession that can be wheeled from room to room.  That being said, that doesn't mean that even if you were to decide on Women's Health or Family Practice that doesn't mean that you will get any more ultrasounds than the 20 week one, which might not even be performed in that office.  If your base clinic has a radiology department, you might be sent there where they have the bigger high tech machines.

    Also, I have friends here who stayed at the FMR for their pregnancies.  They were assigned to an actual OB within the FMR and were given pretty much the same treatments and care that I received over at Women's Health.  From what my PCM (who is an OB in both WHC and FMR) described to me, the big difference is between getting to know one OB vs an entire team of OBs.

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  • That's how things are handled at the hospital on our base. I chose to see our PCM in family medicine but then joined a Centering group that was being started. Either way I got to see the same doctors through the whole process and they delivered (or attempted too they assisted with my csection but the OB on call perfomed) LO. I was really adament that I saw the same doctors so that everything was consistent.
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  • Thanks for the insight ladies! You have all helped this FTM understand the military medical system a bit better when it comes to pregnancy. Hopefully my appt tomorrow goes well.

    BFP #1 11/07/2012 EDD 07/09/2013 M/C 11/22/2012

    BFP #2 02/05/2013 EDD 09/19/2013 Arrived via c-section 09/27/2013

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  • With did I was at a private practice in town BC our clinic didn't do ob care. This time I had the same choice, although I had a c section BC did was breach. I chose to go to women's health BC they are better prepared to handle a trial of labor that might result in another c section. Ours also said the family doc will be the babies doc. Depends on what you are looking for

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