Re: If you gave birth in a small hosptital....
Doctors don't work typical 9-5 shifts, so its very possible that they would have to call someone in during "regular" working hours, especially depending on staffing. For instance, dh worked 3:30 pm until 8 am last night, but today he's home.
The hospital where I had my youngest was a small hospital. They averaged about 30 deliveries a month, sometimes way less, sometimes way more. They did not have Peds or anesthesia in house, Peds did at home call, and we were required to live no more than 20 minutes from the hospital. The OB's could also do in home call, but were required to be in the hospital the entire time a patient was laboring and do all of the post birth check ups on their patients themselves, even if it was their day off.
The nurses were STABLE certified, my dh happened to be the one who taught them since he was an instructor. That teaches nurses how to stabilize newborns and get them ready for transport. The closest NICU was an hour away, so there were a lot of nights dh stayed at the hospital all night transporting and bagging babies.
I wouldn't say that dh was forced to do more than docs at large hospitals, mostly because the population he saw was low risk. Now that he is in a major medical center and doing intensivist stuff, he is doing way more than he did then. There were so few deliveries, and the population was low risk that he wasn't seeing the genetic syndromes, heart problems, 23 weekers and so on and so forth. They were almost all healthy newborns and if they had trouble they could be stabilized enough for transport to the NICU.
As far as waiting for an epidural, once again, they couldn't live more than 20 minutes from the hospital. If they did, they had to do call in house.
Wife to my Navy doc, SAHM to 4 (11, 8, 5, 1)