Obstetrics and Gynaecology Career Guide: Training, Job Description & Career Prospects

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An obstetrician is a specialised physician who has received extensive education and training in managing pregnancy, labour, and pueperium, which is the period of time immediately after childbirth.

Looking after a newly delivered baby in Tanzania A gynaecologist is a physician who received extensive education and training in the health of the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases.

An obstetrician/gynaecologist or OB/GYN is a physician specialist who provides medical and surgical care of the female reproductive system and any diseases or conditions associated with it. These professionals have particular expertise in childbirth, pregnancy and disorders of the reproductive system. This includes prenatal care, preventative care, family planning, detection of sexually transmitted diseases and Pap test screening.

These specialists perform comprehensive diagnostic exams that include breast exams, PAP tests, cervical cancer screenings and STD tests. They also monitor and manage a woman throughout her pregnancy from conception through the delivery.

Typically, the education and the training for both fields occurs concurrently.

If you choose to practice in obstetrics and gynaecology, you can choose to specialise in one of the following subspecialties:

  • Maternal and foetal medicine, which involves training in the diagnosis and treatment of complications during pregnancy
  • Reproductive endocrinology and infertility, which focuses on managing complex medical problems related to reproductive endocrinology and infertility.
  • Critical care medicine, which involves training in the diagnosis and treatment of multiple organ dysfunction in females.
  • Gynaecologic oncology, where you will receive extensive training in providing consultation and management of gynaecologic cancer.

As an OB/Gyn, you will generally either work in a hospital, clinic or private practice individually or as a part of a physician group with one or more specialty being covered. Most OB/Gyn practitioners work regular office hours on certain days and then perform surgeries or do deliveries on other days or as needed. On average, OB/gyns delivery 12 to 15 babies every month, some of those requiring Caesarean sections and others with serious complications that require emergency surgery. Because of the unpredictability of when births can happen, Ob/Gyns typically have pretty hectic and chaotic schedules and you can expect to be on call almost all the time – days, nights, weekends and holidays too.

OB/Gyn Training Requirements

In order to become an OB/gyn you must first complete 4 years of medical school, followed by a 4 year OB/gyn residency program. Those who choose to specialize in one of the subspecialties mentioned above will need to go through an additional fellowship, which is usually 1 to 3 years long. You will need to obtain a license before you can begin practicing.

OB/Gyn Salary in the UK

The average salary for an Obstetrician / Gynecologist is £90,000.

 Career Outlook

The project outlook for employment in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology is very good especially in rural and low-income areas as it is more difficult for hospitals in these areas to attract physicians.

 

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Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training. 

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