Summary of how to become an Obgyn
Obstetrician and gynecologists (also referred to as OB/GYN’s) are physicians who have specialized in women’s reproductive health and pregnancy. They examine their patients, order or perform diagnostic tests, make diagnoses, and order medication and treatment. They provide health care for women in relation to reproductive health, they provide healthcare to women not only during, but also before and after pregnancy, and they deliver babies. All these medical specialists must be licensed in all states, and board certification in OB/GYN is also provided. To find out if this career track is right for you, take one of this website’s free career quizzes.
To become an obstetrician or gynecologist, students, in general, must first earn a bachelor’s degree, then obtain a medical degree (4 years), followed by a 4-year residency. Additionally, every state requires licensing in order to practice medicine. To prepare well for medical school, applicants’ undergraduate coursework must include physics, chemistry, biology and more science coursework.
After applicants are accepted into medical school, they will receive two years academic training in human anatomy, genetics, microbiology, pathology, pharmacology, and medical subjects. During year three and four at medical school students gain hands-on experience in clinics and hospitals under the guidance and supervision of experienced and licensed physicians. During these two years, they will be rotating through various specialty areas such as gynecology and obstetrics, internal medicine, pediatrics, and many more.
During the residency phase, students will get more extensive training and develop their experience in their specialization. During this phase there will be more attention towards the female reproductive system, a broader focus on labor and pregnancy management, and all sorts of other healthcare issues related uniquely to women.
Once students have successfully completed their many years of highly specialized education and training, they have two options to get certified. This depends on whether they graduated from an osteopathic or allopathic medical school. They may pass an exam to become board-certified in obstetrics and gynecology from the ABMS (The American Board of Medical Specialists), or get certification through an exam from the AOA (The American Osteopathic Association).
As OB/GYN’s, these physicians have specialized in diagnosing, treating, and preventing disorders and diseases that affect women, for example, cervical cancer, breast cancer, and menopause. These physicians also are working with expecting mothers all through their pregnancies, at childbirth and the period thereafter. OB/GYN’s perform annual examinations, collect and document their patients’ medical histories, and provide counseling regarding hygiene, sexual health, and diets, and how to best prevent disease.
Obstetricians and gynecologists may work in various locations, but most are performing their highly specialized tasks at general medical and surgical hospitals, at offices of physicians, in outpatient care centers, or at colleges, universities, and professional schools. Their work is always done in a clinical, clean, well-ventilated and optimally lit environment.
The employment outlook for obstetricians or gynecologists, or for physicians and surgeons in general, is pretty good. Over the coming decade, the professional growth rate is expected to increase by over 15 percent, well above the average. There are regionally determined discrepancies, but in 2014 the median annual income for this professional group of medical specialists was around $188,200.
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