So, you have decided to become an obstetrician, obstetrician-gynecologist or OB/GYN. Great. This post will help you understand how to become an obstetrician. Explore the steps you need to take to apply to medical schools, research the education, training and licensure requirements for pursuing a career as an OB-GYN.
Obstetricians are medical practitioners who are responsible for providing specialized care throughout the pregnancy, labor, delivery of the baby and post-delivery care. Being an obstetrician and gynecologist, monitoring the health of a mother and child is your ultimate responsibility.
These medical specialists are fully trained in gynecology and deal with women’s general reproductive health. Obstetricians and gynecologists can diagnose, prevent and treat multiple conditions related to pregnancy and complications of overall women’s reproductive system.
Choosing a Career in Obstetrics
Choosing a career in obstetrics and becoming an obstetrician is no easy feat. It’s a long-term commitment. The education, residency training and fulfilling the licensure requirements require endurance and resilience. You need to complete an undergraduate degree, getting into a medical school, completing a four-years MD program and residency training.
A career in obstetrics demands a lot of mental, physical and emotional effort. Working as an OB-GYN, you need to develop some skills to deal with the patients – in person, on call and virtual. If the patients are in the third trimester or high risk, you need to deal with patients carefully and unwearyingly.
Obstetricians work for long hours and deal with unforeseen circumstances by taking timely and challenging decisions. As an obstetrician, you need to get ready for emergency situations and childbirth. In most cases, you have to work under pressure with no room for error.
Key Skills to become an Obstetrician
In order to become an obstetrician, you need to develop following characteristics and skills:
- Strong communication skills
- Ability to work long/odd hours
- Prepared to move a lot throughout the day
- Leadership skills
- Attention to detail
- Problem-solving skills
- Organization skills
- Ability to use medical software and electrosurgical tools
- In-depth knowledge of human anatomy
Factors to consider before choosing a Career in Obstetrics
Becoming an obstetrician is a long and challenging journey, you should take time and perform in-depth research to make a well-informed decision about your career. The path is long, but if you have a passion to do something in this industry and contribute to the betterment of women’s health, then you should definitely go for this rewarding career choice.
Pursuing a career in obstetrics will prepare you for many rewarding career opportunities, as it is an all-time highly demanding career option. Here are a few reasons why you should consider becoming an obstetrician.
Higher Salary Prospects
One of the biggest advantages of becoming an obstetrician is that the field has the highest paying jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, obstetrician is one of the most highly paid healthcare career options. An average annual income of an obstetrician is $ 296,210 and experienced obstetricians can earn more than $300,000 per year.
Improving Women’s Health
If you are passionate about improving women’s health, then choosing a career in obstetrics is a sensible choice. As an obstetrician, you will get the opportunity to focus on prenatal care during pregnancy and postnatal care after childbirth. Obstetricians treat and diagnose a myriad of women’s health issues, menstrual and menopausal problems, breast cancer and cervical issues.
Many obstetricians have the ability to treat pelvic and urinary tract infections, pelvic surgery issues and provide postpartum care. Obstetricians can also deal with fetal health issues before delivery.
Obstetrician is considered as the most rewarding sector in the healthcare field, as it provides you with an opportunity to bring new life into this world. You will deal with high-risk and complicated pregnancies, premature birth and miscarriages. As an OB/GYN, you can contribute to the betterment of the field by discovering new diagnostic and treatment procedures. Above all, as an experienced obstetrician, you will gain recognition and become famous in your industry.
Rewarding Career Option
The demand of female ob/gyn is significantly increasing day by day. Women prefer to visit female specialists for the checkup as they feel more comfortable talking with women, especially the pregnancy complications.
Subspecialties of Obstetrics and Gynecology
As an obstetrician, there are a number of subspecialities that you can pursue.
- Gynecologic Oncology
- Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery
- Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine Critical Care
- Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
- Menopausal and Geriatric Gynecology
- Minimally Invasive Gynecologic Surgery
- Complex Family Planning
- Hospice and Palliative Medicine
- Critical Care Medicine
- Menopausal and Geriatric Gynecology
- Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology
Education Requirements to become an Obstetrician
The process of becoming an obstetrician takes years of hard work and determination. You need to get stellar grades and maintain your academic and clinical performance to earn a license and practice as an obstetrician.
Earn an Undergraduate Degree
Aspiring doctors need to complete a four-year bachelor’s degree program for getting into a medical school. Many medical schools require applicants to fulfill medical school prerequisites. Students need to complete biology, chemistry, physics along with lab experiments and hands-on experience.
Apply to Medical School
Once you completed the bachelor’s degree, apply to an MD degree program to fulfill your career and academic goals. During the first two years (pre-clinical years) students will take courses in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, hematology and other courses to strengthen their medical concepts. During the clinical years, students will gain hands-on experience in dealing with real patients by performing clinical clerkship in affiliated hospitals and clinics.
Get a Medical License
In order to practice as an obstetrician, you need to successfully pass the USMLE. It is a mandatory requirement for medical school graduates who want to enter public practice to pass the test to get a medical license. You should get the license before pursuing a residency program.
Get Residency Training
After completing a four-year doctorate program, you have to complete three to seven years of training in the obstetrics and gynecology residency program. It is important to gain practical experience in the field and learn how to treat patients dealing with gestation and complex reproductive issues. During the residency training, students will learn how to monitor pregnant women, deliver babies, perform gynecological produce, prescribe maternal-fetal medicine, and deal with reproductive endocrinology and infertility issues. You can choose a subspeciality in which you want to practice.
Get Board Certification
Once you got a medical license and complete the residency training, you need to get board certification in obstetrics and gynecology. To become a board-certified specialist, you need to successfully pass the test to show your comprehensive knowledge and skills required to perform medical and surgical processes in women.
Renew License and Certification
Certified obstetricians are required to renew their licensure and certification by fulfilling the renewal requirements. For instance, they can be actively involved in advanced courses, seminars and conferences and stay up to date with the latest medical advancements.
Are You Ready to Become an Obstetrician?
Though education requirements for becoming an obstetrician are tough, choosing a career in obstetrics and gynecology is very satisfying and rewarding. It is a very challenging and delicate career choice, as you bring children into the world and deal with the complexities of pregnancies. Apply to medical school and fulfill your dream of becoming an obstetrician.