Obstetrician and Gynecologist

How to Become an Obstetrician Gynecologist
Obstetrician and Gynecology Job Duties
Skills and Qualities of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Obstetrician and Gynecologist Salaries
Influential Professionals in this Field
Leading Obstetrician and Gynecology Organizations
Top Cities for Obstetrician and Gynecologist Jobs
Other Careers of Interest

How to become an Obstetrician Gynecologist

An obstetrician/gynecologist is a medical doctor, who specializes in the medical and surgical care of women, particularly in the areas of pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the female reproductive system. This also includes preventative healthcare, prenatal care, the detection of sexually transmitted diseases, Pap smear testing and screening, and family planning.

Generally, there is only one way to become an obstetrician/gynecologist or OB/GYN in the United States - and that one way is to attend medical school. A career as an obstetrician/ gynecologist requires you to obtain a typical medical doctor education at a four year undergraduate college or university, followed by four years of medical school, and three to eight years of residency in obstetrics and gynecology. This residency normally lasts between four and five years.

Persons, who are interested in becoming an obstetrician/gynecologist, must complete four years of undergraduate school at an accredited college or university, four years of medical school specializing in obstetrics and gynecology, and a three to eight year internship and residency in a hospital setting. A few colleges and universities in the United States offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last from six years to eight years. Normally, the education and training for both obstetrics and gynecology occur at the same time.

Obstetrician/Gynecology pre-medical (pre-med) students must take and successfully complete undergraduate coursework in biology, anatomy, physiology, organic and inorganic chemistry, math, physics, English, the social sciences and the humanities. To accelerate their medical education, some students volunteer their time at local hospitals, trauma centers, or clinics to gain experience in the health professions.

To be admitted into medical school, you are required to have completed a minimum of three years of study at an accredited undergraduate college or university. Most medical school applicants have at least a Bachelor's degree, and some even have a Master's degree or higher.

Admission to medical school is highly competitive. To be considered, applicants must submit transcripts from undergraduate school, take and pass the Medical College Admission Test, and submit letters of recommendation. Medical schools will also take into account other qualities of potential applicants, such as their character and leadership potential. Their interests in extra-curricular activities are also likely to play a part in the application process. Basically all schools require pre-med students to have an interview with the admissions committee.

Practicing medicine in the United States requires a license. Every state within the United States, including the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories require practicing physicians to be licensed. All states and jurisdictions also license physicians. To be a licensed physician, you must graduate from an accredited medical school, pass a state licensing exam, and complete between one to seven years of graduate medical school. Although doctors who are licensed in one state can normally obtain a physician's license to practice in another state without taking another licensing examination, some states do not allow this practice. Those who have graduated from foreign medical schools basically can qualify for licensure after passing a state licensing examination and completing a residency in the United States.

Once enrolled in medical school, obstetrician/gynecology students spend the majority of their time during the first two years in classrooms and laboratories, taking courses such as physiology, anatomy, pharmacology, pathology, biochemistry, psychology, microbiology, medical ethics, and laws that govern the practice of medicine. They also get hands-on, first-hand experience in taking medical histories, examining patients, and diagnosing illnesses.

During their last two years of medical school, students work directly with patients under the close supervision of experienced doctors in hospitals, trauma centers, and clinics, to gain experience in providing acute, chronic, preventive, and rehabilitative medical care to patients. Through great exposure and actual hands-on experience in the specialized areas of family practice, internal medicine, obstetrics and gynecology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and surgery, obstetrician/gynecology students learn how to diagnose and treat various medical illnesses and conditions.

What does a Obstetrician Gynecologist do?

An obstetrician/gynecologist is a physician who specializes in the basic medical care of women, specifically in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the female reproductive system, and the treatment of pregnant women. They provide general medical care to women, and medical care related to pregnancy and the female reproductive system. Obstetricians/Gynecologists also specialize in childbirth, treating pregnant women, and giving medical advice to their female patients throughout pregnancy, including giving diagnoses during the prenatal period and throughout pregnancy. They are always on-call to assist with delivery, and thereafter provide postpartum care to their female patients.

Like all physicians, the obstetrician gynecologist prevents, diagnoses, and treats the basic health problems of patients, particularly for women. Their focus is mainly on medical conditions that are unique to the female anatomy, such as urinary tract and pelvic disorders, menstrual and menopausal problems, hormonal disorders, cervical and breast cancer, and issues related to fertility and birth control.

What skills or qualities do I need to become an Obstetrician or Gynecologist?

If you are thinking about becoming an obstetrician/gynecologist, you must strongly desire serving patients, be a self-motivator, be deeply concerned about women's health, and be able to withstand the long hours and pressures of medical school, education and training, and medical practice. An obstetrician/gynecologist also must have a good bedside manner, have a good grip on their emotions, possess the ability to work extremely well under pressure, and make decisions in emergencies. Those considering a role as an obstetrician gynecologist must be willing to keep up-to-date with medical advances, meaning that study will continue throughout their career.

How much does a Gynecologists make?

An obstetrician/gynecologist salary can vary according to the place of employment, experience, and geographical location. On average, an obstetrician gynecologist's salary in the United States as of July 2008 was $231,866. Twenty-five percent to seventy-five percent of all obstetricians/gynecologists made between $194,237 and $282,255 during the same year. Obstetricians/Gynecologists who work in hospitals make more money than those working in outpatient care centers and colleges, universities and professional schools. Obstetricians/Gynecologists who work in their own private practice make significantly more than all others in this field.

Who are some influential professionals in this field?

Dr. Robert Barbieri, an obstetrician gynecologist, is the chief of obstetrics at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Brigham and Women's Hospital is the most prominent U.S. hospital devoted to women's care. Dr. W. Benson Harer, Jr., is the past president of the American Academy of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is currently studying the increase in the number on-demand c-sections in the United States and around the world. Dr. Daniel Cramer, M.D., is the Unit Chief of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital's Cramer Laboratory, and Harvard Medical School. He has a long portfolio of past and current grants studying issues related to female reproductive health.

What are some leading organizations in this field?

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG) is the nation's leading group of obstetricians and gynecologists that advocates for quality health care for women. The organization strives to maintain the highest standards of clinical practice and continuing education for its members. The ACOG also promotes patient education and understanding of medical care. Childbirth Connection, formerly the Maternity Center Association, is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of maternity care for women. The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is an independent, non-profit organization that examines and certifies more than 1,700 obstetricians and gynecologists in maternal and fetal medicine, reproductive endocrinology and infertility, and gynecologic oncology every year.

What are the top cities for Obstetrician and Gynecologist jobs?

Job prospects for obstetricians/gynecologists are excellent. The top city for obstetrician gynecologist jobs is Hartford, Connecticut, followed by Flint, Michigan, a distant second. The third top city for obstetrician/gynecologist jobs is Morgantown, West Virginia, while Yakima, Washington and Florence, South Carolina are tied for fourth place. Obstetrician/Gynecologists' jobs are projected to grow 14 percent between 2006 and 2016, the fastest job growth rate compared to all other occupations. This is especially true for low-income and rural areas of the United States where there is a common perception that there is a shortage of doctors in these geographical regions.

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