Obstetrician and Gynecologist

Obstetrics and gynecology are frequently practiced together as professions since they are so closely related. Obstetrics is the medical treatment of women throughout pregnancy, often referred to as pre-natal care. Gynecology is the medical specialty which addresses the health and well-being of the female reproductive organs both before, during, and after pregnancy.

A medical doctor who practices obstetrics and gynecology is usually referred to as an ob/gyn, or they may be simply called an "O.B." or a gynecologist, even if their practice incorporates both of these medical specialties.

Obstetrician gynecologists divide their time between hospital work and office visits. Office visits typically include pre-natal checks, pap smears, sonograms and annual checkup exams. In addition, the obstetrician gynecologist may also perform a number of outpatient surgeries in their office.

While ob/gyns practice in their office they also dedicate a fair amount of their time to delivering babies in the hospitals, some of which may require Cesarean sections. Most ob/gyns deliver 12-15 babies per month on average, but this can vary quite a bit. Ob/gyns may also perform other gynecological surgeries in the hospital as well.

The schedule for ob/gyns is typically quite busy, especially since they're on call for deliveries which can occur at any time of the day or night, or weekends. Therefore, physicians in Ob/Gyn typically can expect to work a 50-60 hour workweek, if not more. Like many other physicians, obstetrician gynecologists may run their own practice, be partner in a group practice, or be employed by clinics, hospitals, government organizations or academic institutions.

The median income for an Ob/Gyn physician is about $280,000 a year, and the average overall income is about a little over $302,000, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA).

Training and Education

As is the case for most physicians, are required to complete a four-year bachelor's degree, followed by several years of medical school to obtain a medical degree (M.D. or D.O.) from an accredited medical school. Following medical schools several years of residency training are required.

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