Obstetrics & Gynecology
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.
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