In the following article, we will go through the details of the OB-GYN job, so you can decide if this profession is for you.
We will talk about the duties, skills, qualifications, working hours, salary, and more.
OB-GYNs are medical doctors specializing in women’s health.
They conduct general wellness check-ups, treat diseases and assist with childbirth.
They should gather information about the patient, make treatment decisions, and administer the required treatments.
Article Table of Contents
What Does an OB-GYN Do
OB-GYN stands for obstetrician-gynecologist.
These are the doctors who specialize in the aspects of health unique for the bodies of women.
This includes menstruation, childbirth, menopause, and other health issues.
The work environment of OB-GYNs can vary.
They can work in hospitals, clinics, and private doctor’s offices.
This is a fast-paced and busy career, but it’s highly rewarding.
The workweek usually lasts for 40 to 60 hours, and often, these doctors work only 4 days a week.
You need to dedicate many years to the extended education to become an OB-GYN.
However, it’s a rewarding job with multiple opportunities.
The median salary of OB-GYNs is $204,981 per year.
OB-GYNs can choose their specializations between obstetrics or gynecology, so their responsibilities can differ greatly based on the specialization and setting.
Some of them perform surgeries or deliver babies, while others do wellness check-ups and gynecological examinations.
- Provide care and treatment to women during and after pregnancy and childbirth.
- Treat gynecological diseases.
- Analyze the records and test results of patients to diagnose conditions.
- Recommend and administer treatments, such as therapy, medication, or surgical procedures.
- Explain treatments, test results, and diagnoses to patients.
- Coordinate with other staff, including specialists, nurses, and assistants.
- Develop health programs for hospitals or communities to reduce the impact of specific health issues.
- Research and test newly developed procedures, treatments, or medications.
OB-GYNs communicate a lot with patients and coworkers.
They have to work with public members and provide steady emotional support and clear communication.
OB-GYNs should analyze and consider various factors to come up with the best decision possible for the health of a particular patient.
Most of these decisions should be made promptly and efficiently.
Organization and planning:
Medical professionals have to deal with a lot of documentation, maintenance, transcription of patient information.
Besides, they should be proficient in prioritizing and planning tasks by how important they are.
OB-GYNs should analyze patient information, such as test results or symptoms, and determine the cause.
They should be able to break down the information to understand them.
How to Become an OB-GYN
Depending on the area of expertise you pursue, you may have to spend up to 12 years for training after college before you can start practicing as a certified doctor.
At some stages of training, you can also receive decent pay.
The path to becoming an OB-GYN is competitive and intense.
Medical residents have long hours and receive little pay.
The pay-off you will get in the end though, is great.
As soon as you become a practicing OB-GYN doctor, you will get great compensation as well as multiple opportunities for advancement.
Training and Qualifications
The first step for OB-GYNs is to complete a bachelor’s degree in any area that includes the required pre-med coursework in science.
After, they should get a four-year medical school degree.
The four years of med school are followed by four years of residency with a focus on obstetrics and gynecology.
They complete the residency under the supervision of an attending doctor.
During this training period, residents earn a small salary.
As the candidate complete the residency, they can go into practice as a doctor.
If you want to specialize in a certain area, such as oncology or maternal-fetal medicine, you can also choose to complete a three- to four-year fellowship after residency.
OB-GYNs should pass a board certification exam after all the training is completed.
Besides that, you will have to take a maintenance examination every six years to keep your certification.
One of the benefits of the OB-GYN profession is that you don’t need to have additional experience, as you gain it during your years of training.
A residency and fellowship are paid professional work.
After completing all your training, you can apply for an entry-level position in a given setting.
You can choose to work at a clinic, hospital, university, or a doctor’s office.
OB-GYN professionals work full-time, and their workweek can last from 40 to 60 hours.
Each month they also have to work one or two nights.
However, depending on the setting and specialization, the workload can vary.
The doctors who perform invasive surgeries or deliver babies have more unpredictable and long hours.
This is especially true for self-employed doctors or those who are at the start of their careers.
The heaviest and most variable workload goes to OB-GYNs who specializes in obstetrics.
They have regular 24-hour shifts and nights on-call.
Obstetricians who are self-employed usually work from 60 to 80 hours per week.
Other OB-GYN professionals work less.
Many of them work only 4 days per week, some can even work part-time.
According to the recent findings, OB-GYNs can have a starting salary of $129,662, while the median salary is $204,981.
The outlook for this career is positive, with an 18% growth estimated to take place by 2024.
This is one of the highest rates among physicians and surgeons.
After starting as an OB-GYN, you may choose to advance in different paths.
If you work in a private setting, you can become a partner or start your practice.
If you are employed in a hospital, you can acquire a higher position with more oversight and administrative duties.
In an academic medical center, you may get an academic promotion.
By getting a higher position, you get more control over your duties.
You can focus on a narrow aspect and customize your practice accordingly.
The daily duties of the OB-GYN can vary greatly depending on the specialty and unpredictable nature of the job.
However, it’s a highly fulfilling and rewarding job.
If you have enough ambition, this career can be very promising with great work opportunities and a high salary.