Ob­stet­rics & Gyne­col­ogy

Wellness Update - - Know Your Specialist -

Ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy (ob-gyn) are the two sur­gi­cal–med­i­cal spe­cial­ties deal­ing with the fe­male re­pro­duc­tive or­gans in their preg­nant and non-preg­nant state, re­spec­tively. The spe­cial­ties are of­ten com­bined to form a sin­gle med­i­cal spe­cialty and post­grad­u­ate train­ing pro­gram. The com­bined train­ing pre­pares the prac­tic­ing ob-gyn to be adept at the sur­gi­cal man­age­ment of the en­tire scope of clin­i­cal pathol­ogy in­volv­ing fe­male re­pro­duc­tive or­gans, and to pro­vide care for both preg­nant and non-preg­nant pa­tients.


The train­ing re­quired to prac­tice medicine as an ob-gyn is ex­ten­sive. All ob-gyns are grad­u­ates of col­lege and an ac­cred­ited med­i­cal school. Each must also com­plete an ad­di­tional four-year course of spe­cial train­ing—called a res­i­dency—in ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy. This train­ing equips the ob-gyn physi­cian to pro­vide gen­eral care to women, in ad­di­tion to spe­cial­ized care re­lated to preg­nancy and the re­pro­duc­tive or­gans.

Board Cer­ti­fied

Fol­low­ing res­i­dency plus at least two ad­di­tional years of prac­tice, a doc­tor may ap­ply for board cer­ti­fi­ca­tion by the Amer­i­can Board of Ob­stet­rics and Gyne­col­ogy. He or she must pass two tests to be­come board cer­ti­fied. The first is a writ­ten test cov­er­ing both med­i­cal and sur­gi­cal care. Pass­ing this test demon­strates that the can­di­date has the nec­es­sary knowl­edge and skills to treat women. The sec­ond is an oral exam be­fore a panel of na­tional ex­perts. This exam re­views the skills, knowl­edge and abil­ity to treat dif­fer­ent con­di­tions, and in­cludes a re­view of cases the can­di­date has treated dur­ing the pre­ced­ing year.


Gy­ne­co­log­i­cal on­col­ogy – a gy­ne­co­logic sub­spe­cialty fo­cus­ing on the med­i­cal and sur­gi­cal treat­ment of women with can­cers of the re­pro­duc­tive or­gans Fam­ily plan­ning – a gy­ne­co­logic sub­spe­cialty of­fer­ing train­ing in con­tra­cep­tion and preg­nancy ter­mi­na­tion (abor­tion) ob-gyn [oh-bee-jee-wahy-en] : a physi­cian who spe­cial­izes in ob­stet­rics and gyne­col­ogy Some ob-gyn sur­geons elect to do fur­ther sub­spe­cialty train­ing in pro­grams known as fel­low­ships af­ter com­plet­ing their res­i­dency train­ing, al­though the ma­jor­ity choose to en­ter pri­vate or aca­demic prac­tice as gen­eral ob-gyns. Fel­low­ship train­ing can range from one to four years in du­ra­tion, and usu­ally have a re­search com­po­nent in­volved with the clin­i­cal and op­er­a­tive train­ing.

Ex­am­ples of sub­spe­cialty train­ing avail­able to physi­cians in the US are:

Ma­ter­nal-fe­tal medicine – an ob­stet­ri­cal sub­spe­cialty, some­times re­ferred to as peri­na­tol­ogy, that fo­cuses on the med­i­cal and sur­gi­cal man­age­ment of high-risk preg­nan­cies and surgery on the fe­tus with the goal of re­duc­ing mor­bid­ity and mor­tal­ity. Re­pro­duc­tive en­docrinol­ogy and in­fer­til­ity – a sub­spe­cialty that fo­cuses on the bi­o­log­i­cal causes and in­ter­ven­tional treat­ment of in­fer­til­ity Fe­male pelvic medicine and re­con­struc­tive surgery – a gy­ne­co­logic sub­spe­cialty fo­cus­ing on the di­ag­no­sis and sur­gi­cal treat­ment of women with uri­nary in­con­ti­nence and pro­lapse of the pelvic or­gans. Some­times re­ferred to by layper­sons as “Fe­male urol­ogy”

Ad­vanced la­paro­scopic surgery

Pe­di­atric and adolescent gyne­col­ogy

Menopausal and geri­atric gyne­col­ogy

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