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
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
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
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
Maintenance of Certification
- Physicians certified after 1986 must be recertified at periodic
intervals in order to maintain their certification.