Obstetrician and Gynecologist (OB/GYN)

Pros


  • Helping women with their health related issues.
  • Assisting parents in making decisions regarding childbirth.
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists are well-paid, and the field is expected to grow at a rate higher than average for all occupations.

Cons

  • You must be able to handle people who are stressed due to their problems,
  • Obstetricians and gynecologists perform treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and other private personal matters, so this work requires objectivity.
  • This career requires a lot of working on your feet, along with occasional long hours.

Overview

Obstetricians and gynecologists, also known as OB/GYN, are medical doctors that treat the health of women. A gynecologist primarily specializes in caring for the reproductive systems of women, which means diagnosing and treating issues such as cervical cancer, urinary tract infections and hormonal imbalances. They perform regular check-ups on women to make sure that their reproductive health is in good standing.

Obstetricians are focused on the time when a woman is bearing a child. This means that they provide care during pregnancy, labor and once the child has been delivered. They monitor the health of the mother and make sure that the pregnancy is going smoothly. The usually assist in the delivery of children, and they advise women on health related issues that come up after childbirth.

Often, obstetricians and gynecologists are taught both roles concurrently and are able to practice medicine in both areas. Some obstetricians and gynecologists decide to run a general practice for themselves where they provide complete services for women’s health. Others decide to specialize in one or the other, working in medical organizations such as hospitals. Obstetricians and gynecologists that follow this route usually end up taking a subspecialty such as oncology, adolescent reproductive health or infertility.

Education

This is a field whereby one must first become a medical doctor. This requires quite a bit of training. That means four years of undergraduate work as a pre-med major, four years in medical school, which is competitive to get into, along with three to five years in residency. In order to gain entry into medical school, students must take the MCAT, or the medical college admissions test. When considering students for the medical school, the admissions advisors will review academic records as well as judge personal character of an applicant. Once a student has completed medical school, they will receive hands-on training in a four year residency program that will focus on the study of OB/GYN.

Job Prospects

The job prospects for obstetricians and gynecologists is very good, and there is expected to be a shortage of people who are qualified to practice this medical specialty over the coming years. While educational institutions are attempting to develop more residency programs to train OB/GYNs, current professionals that are working in the field are having to see a large amount of patients and are having to work long hours because of the shortage. For someone who is prepared to spend a lot of time in education and residency to become an OB/GYN, this is a good job field to be in.

Advancement Opportunities

Although many obstetricians and gynecologists end up starting their own practice, more often than not today many of them will work for someone else before they go out on their own. This may mean working in general practice at a hospital or a woman’s health clinic. When they have accumulated enough work experience, they often will take up a specialty, either working on their own or in concert with other medical professionals because this tends to be higher-paying.