Gynecologists are doctors who provide medical care to women. They perform surgery and prescribe treatments for diseases and illnesses. A major part of the job is attending to women’s reproductive health, from counseling them about pregnancy to delivering their babies.
Also known as obstetrician gynecologists, or ob/gyns, these doctors examine various parts of the body, including the breasts, pelvis, and genitals. They diagnose cancers, sexually transmitted diseases, and disorders. Gynecologists meet with women to promote health and prevent disease. They also consult with other doctors about their patients, and provide women referrals to other specialists.
Many gynecologists work in hospitals, while some are employed at clinics or operate private practices. The major specialties are maternal-fetal medicine, involving high-risk pregnancies; reproductive endocrinology, related to fertility and childbirth; gynecologic oncology, the diagnosis and treatment of cancer; and female pelvic medicine, which includes reconstructive surgery.
Becoming a licensed gynaecologist usually means significant investments, both financially and time wise, into education and training. Ob/gyns are highly paid, and their services are in demand (especially in rural areas). This profession is an opportunity to serve women, and experience the satisfaction that results from helping them lead healthy lives.
Gynecologist Job Description
Gynecologists perform a range of services. They are a source of women’s primary health care, providing counsel regarding pregancy and gynecologic care. They are concerned with disease prevention, as well as diagnosis and treatment. Ob/gyns are trained as surgeons to conduct operations on various parts of the body. They also assist women with labor and delivery. As specialists in women’s health, gynecologists are valued as consultants to other doctors.
Among the medical conditions that gynecologists identify and treat are uterine bleeding, infertility, leiomyomato, endrometriosis, incontinence, renal disease, and breast ailments. Disorders of the pelvic area are indicated by pain, masses, and other signs.
Ob/gyns use sophisticated medical devices, including ultrasound equipment, to provide routine health-care services like Pap smears. biopsies, and colposcopies. Among the types of outpatient care are laser surgery, laparoscopies, ovarian cystectomies, hysteroscopies, and tubal ligations. Gynecologists also perform hysterectomies, myomectomies, Cesarean sections, circumcisions, and other procedures.
Those specializing in oncology diagnose and treat cancer of the ovaries, uterus, cervix, and vulva. Experts in pelvic medicine deal with organ prolapse and urinary illnesses like incontinence.
- Interview patients to understand their complaints and symptoms
- Study patients’ medical histories and consult with other doctors
- Provide consultation, care, and treatment for women before, during, and after their pregnancies
- Deliver babies by employing the necessary methods to protect the health of the mother and child
- Perform examinations to diagnose diseases and disorders
- Treat diseases in organs and other parts of the body
- When surgery is warranted, advise the patient of the procedure’s benefits and risks
- Conduct operations to treat illness or remove cancerous tissues
- Prescribe medication and therapy, and make referrals to other medical professionals
- Coordinate nurses, assistants, anesthesiologists, and specialists required for surgical procedures
- If operating a private practice, hire and manage medical and administrative staff
- Maintain patient records and file reports
- Organize health-promotion and disease-prevention programs in hospitals and other institutions
- Take part in research studies involving medical techniques, treatments, and drugs
- Receive continuing education and read professional publications
Gynecology is a challenging profession. These doctors are responsible for women’s health and, in some cases, their very lives. The ability to effectively communicate with patients and medical staffers is vital. Gynecologists must project confidence and competency. They may have to work long hours, and are sometimes called upon in emergencies.
Because part of the job is performing surgery, excellent eye-hand coordination and attention to detail are essential. A surgeon must be capable of maintaining focus while standing for long periods of time.
How to Become a Gynecologist
The first step on the long road to a career in gynecology is obtaining a bachelor’s degree from a four-year college. Anyone planning to enter a medical field is advised to major in a science like biology or chemistry. Students also should take classes in math, English, the humanities, and social sciences.
Excellent undergraduate grades, high marks on the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and perhaps experience volunteering at a hospital or clinic, can help win admittance to a medical school. Medical students attend school for four years and learn both in classrooms and on clinical rotations. To have more options for residency matches, students must demonstrate strong performance in class and on exams, especially in the third year OB/GYN clinical rotation.
After obtaining an M.D. degree or being matched to an OB/GYN program, students complete a four-year residency program. Residents earn about $45,000 annually and practice patient care under the supervision of more senior doctors. Courses include gynaecology, obstetrics, and gynaecological surgery. Successful graduates have may choose to further pursue gynaecological oncology (i.e. female reproductive organ cancers); they must complete an additional three-year fellowship.
To become certified to practice as an ob/gyn, a state-issued license is mandatory. Each state’s medical-licensing board has a website providing information about how to obtain credentials. Majority of OB/GYNs seek board certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The qualifications for a license are a degree from an accredited medical school, proof of successful completion of an accredited ob/gyn program, and passage of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) board exams.
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Gynecologist Job Description SummaryHere is a short recap of the gynecologist job description:
- Provide medical care to women
- 4 year bachelor’s degree
- 4 year medical school program
- 4 additional years of residency program
- Must be licensed to practice
- 18% employment growth by 2022