Obstetricians and Gynecologists Career Video
Description: Physicians who provide medical care related to pregnancy or childbirth and those who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, particularly those affecting the reproductive system. May also provide general medical care to women.
Doctors who specialize in medical care related to a woman’s reproductive system are called OB/GYNs, short for obstetricians and gynecologists. While OB/GYNs may provide both types of care, obstetricians focus on pregnancy and delivery, and gynecologists specialize in diagnosing and treating issues related to women's reproductive health. OB/GYNs care for women during pregnancy, giving advice and performing tests such as ultrasounds and fetal heart rate monitoring to check on the health of the developing fetus and the mother. Obstetricians perform the delivery, and if necessary perform a surgical caesarean section. Since every birth is different and changes happen quickly, critical thinking and the ability to handle stressful conditions are important. OB/GYNs also care for women at all stages of life. They diagnose and treat conditions related to the reproductive system, such as performing screening exams, offering birth control counseling, and preventing infections. Most OB/GYNs perform surgery, and often consult with other healthcare professionals. OB/GYNS work in outpatient clinics and hospitals. They may specialize in an area such as infertility, cancer, or high-risk pregnancy. Work schedules are often more than 40 hours per week, along with emergency deliveries that occur at any hour. Education requirements include completing medical school, followed by 4 years of residency training. Specialists spend an additional 1-4 years in training.