A Look at the Doctors Specializing in Women’s Health
Individuals assigned female at birth (AFAB) generally see an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) for their annual well-woman visit and reproductive health care. This field of medicine has its own unique set of challenges, as well as joys. Here’s an overview of what an OB/GYN is, what they do, and why you might want to consider specializing in this field at UAG School of Medicine.
What Is an OB/GYN?
OB/GYNs are physicians who specialize in the care of women and individuals with female reproductive organs. They provide comprehensive care for a wide range of issues, from contraception to pregnancy and childbirth to menopause. In addition to general women’s health services, OB/GYNs also often offer specialized services such as high-risk obstetrics, gynecologic oncology (cancer care), and infertility treatment.
It's important to note that the term "OB/GYN" is a combination of "obstetrician" and "gynecologist." An obstetrician is a physician who specializes in pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period, while a gynecologist is a physician who specializes in the health of the female reproductive system. Medical students can choose to specialize in one area or the other, or they can complete training in both areas to become an OB/GYN.
What Does an OB/GYN Do?
OB/GYNs provide a wide range of care for their patients. This includes everything from family planning and contraception to pregnancy care, childbirth, and menopause management. They also provide well-woman care, which includes preventive screenings and counseling on a variety of health topics. In addition, OB/GYNs often serve as a patient’s primary care provider, meaning they can provide care for other health concerns unrelated to reproductive health.
There are several subspecialties within the field of OB/GYN. These include:
High-risk obstetrics: This is a subspecialty that focuses on the care of pregnant women who are at high risk for complications. High-risk conditions can include diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
Gynecologic oncology: This subspecialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of cancers of the female reproductive system, such as ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and cervical cancer.
Infertility: This subspecialty focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of infertility. Infertility can be caused by a variety of factors, including hormonal imbalances, endometriosis, and age.
Critical care medicine: This subspecialty focuses on the care of women who are critically ill or injured. This can include care for women who have suffered a heart attack, stroke, or other life-threatening condition.
Maternal-fetal medicine: This subspecialty focuses on the care of pregnant women and their babies. This can include care for women who are at high risk for complications during pregnancy, as well as care for women who have high-risk pregnancies.
Reproductive endocrinology and infertility: This focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of hormonal disorders that can affect fertility. This can include disorders of the thyroid, pituitary, and adrenal glands.
How Can You Become an OB/GYN?
The first step to becoming an OB/GYN is to complete a bachelor’s degree. While there is no specific major required, students interested in this field should consider taking coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics. After completing a bachelor’s degree, students must then complete four years of medical school. During medical school, students will take coursework in a variety of subjects, including anatomy, physiology, and reproductive health.
In addition, students will also complete clinical rotations in obstetrics and gynecology. Following medical school, students must then complete a four-year residency in OB/GYN. During residency, students will receive training in all aspects of obstetrics and gynecology, including pregnancy care, childbirth, and menopause management. In addition, residents will also have the opportunity to complete a subspecialty fellowship if they so choose.
The Benefits of Becoming an OB/GYN
The benefits of becoming an OB/GYN include the ability to help women through all stages of their lives, from family planning and contraception to pregnancy care, childbirth, and menopause management. In addition, OB/GYNs often serve as a patient’s primary care provider, meaning they can provide care for other health concerns unrelated to reproductive health. Additionally, OB/GYNs can choose to subspecialize in a particular area of interest, such as high-risk obstetrics, gynecologic oncology, or infertility.
Contact UAG School of Medicine Today
Are you ready to take the first step towards a career in OB/GYN? Get in touch with the UAG School of Medicine today to learn more about our medical degree programs. Our admissions team can help you choose the right program for you and answer any questions you may have about becoming an OB/GYN. Contact us today to get started.