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What are Obstetricians and Gynecologists? Training and Certification Allied and Related Organizations

What are Obstetricians and Gynecologists?

  • Obstetrician-gynecologists specialize in the general medical care of women, as well as care related to pregnancy and the reproductive tract.

What training is required and what is covered?

  • The obstetrician-gynecologist goes through four years of specialized residency training in areas dealing with preconceptional health, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, postpartum care, genetics, genetic counseling and prenatal diagnosis.

    Training in gynecology also covers women's general health, including care of reproductive organs, breasts and sexual function.

    Screening for cancer at multiple sites is performed or initiated by the Ob-Gyn specialist.

    Gynecology also includes management of hormonal disorders, treatment of infections, and training in surgery to correct or treat pelvic organ and urinary tract problems to include cancer of the reproductive organs.

    During four years of training, the obstetrician-gynecologist learns about aspects of preventive health care, including exams and routine tests that look for problems before you are sick, immunizations, overall health and provision of care for a range of medical problems, not just those of the reproductive system.

Certification in Obstetrics and Gynecology

  • After residency, a physician may seek certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    To become Board certified, a physician must pass a written test to demonstrate that he or she has obtained the special knowledge and skills required for medical and surgical care of women.

    He or she must also show experience in treating women's health care prior to the oral examination.

    An oral examination is given by a team of well-respected national experts; the exam tests the physician's skills, knowledge and ability to treat different conditions. The examiners also review the patients the physician treated during the past year.

Maintenance of Certification

  • Physicians certified after 1986 must be recertified at periodic intervals in order to maintain their certification.

What are Obstetricians and Gynecologists? Training and Certification Allied and Related Organizations
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