A Gynecologist is a medical doctor who specializes in issues related to the female reproductive system. This system includes the vagina, ovaries, uterus, Fallopian tubes and breasts. They are licensed to perform surgical procedures when necessary. Their responsibilities often overlap with an Obstetrician who specializes in the birthing process.
A gynecologist is also responsible for the diagnosis and treatment of female reproductive system disorders and diseases. They may become involved in the general healthcare of women related to topics such as nutrition or diseases that affect only women.Duties:
- Patient Examination - This examination will include the reproductive organs, breasts, and perhaps, general physical examinations
- Diagnosis of Issues - The Gynecologist will requests and administer tests that will be used to evaluate and diagnose medical conditions or diseases.
- Prescribe Treatments - Using test and examination results, the Gynecologist will determine the proper course of action. These courses of action may include surgery, medication, therapy or rest. They may also suggest referrals to other specialists.
- Perform Surgical Procedures
- In depth discussions with the patient or patient's family.
- Prescribe Medication
- Monitoring Patient Progress
- Record Medical Information
- Business Management - These duties might include hiring/firing of staff, assets purchases and other administrative duties
Gynecologists may also be referred to as an Obstetrician, OB/GYN, OB/GYN Physician, Female Doctor, Physician or a Obstetrics Gynecology MD.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for all Physicians, including the OB/GYN salary, is $187,200. During the first few years as an attending or in private practice, the salary can be expected to be a little lower as experience is gained and a patient base is built. The Gynecologist salary in large metropolitan areas is slightly more than those located in rural areas.
How to become gynecologist
As with most careers in the medical field, the path to becoming a Gynecologist is quite extensive. The prospective Gynecologist must earn a Bachelor's degree sufficient enough to qualify for medical school. They must then be accepted and finish medical school. All schooling must be completed at accredited colleges or universities.
Upon completion of medical school, they are required to serve as a resident in a working hospital. During their residency, the majority of their time must be spend working in the area of obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology and ultrasound technology. When they are finished with their residency, they become eligible to take the national board exams as set forth by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). If they receive a passing score, they will become certified in the field of Gynecology and Obstetrics. They must also obtain a license to practice medicine from the state.How Long Does It Take To Become A Gynecologist:
At a minimum, a prospective Gynecologist should anticipate spending four years in college, four years in medical school, four years serving as a resident and 6-12 months for final certification and state licensing. That makes the entire process approximately 13 years.Educational Requirements:
A high school diploma or GED equivalent is required for acceptance into college or university programs. High school students, who are considering a career as a Gynecologist, might want to focus on science and math related subjects. The college student will need to earn a Bachelor's degree in order to qualify for medical school. Course study should focus on Anatomy, Mathematics, Pharmacology, Ethics, Physiology and Biology. The student may want to consider a basic business class as well. In Medical school, the student will spend the first year on course study. Beginning in the second year, they will begin the process of learning to work with patients. The third and fourth years will be spend working rotations in working hospitals. In the third year, the focus will be general medicine. In the fourth year, the student's focus will shift to their chosen specialty. Students must complete all course work with good grades in order to receive offers for residency.Certification:
All Gynecologists must be certified by the ABOG is order to practice gynecology in the U.S. Prior to taking the exam, the prospect must graduate from medical school and complete a residency program accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education. They must also have served as a chief resident during the final year of their residency. Finally, they must complete the national board exam with a passing grade in order to receive certification. Once a gynecologist has received certification, they will be required to submit for re-certification every 10 years.Licensing:
Although Gynecologist are required to obtain certification, they are also Physicians and are required to be licensed in their state of intended practice.
While requirements vary from state to state, Physicians are required to complete medical school, a residency program and pass the state's written/practical exams in order to be licensed to practice any type of medicine within their state.
The current population of Gynecologists sits at approximately 24,000 across America. This bodes well for the future prospects in the industry.
While the Physician base is expected to grow at approximately 18% (according to the BLS), O*Net estimates that Gynecology will expand at a rate of 8%-14% over the next 10 years. The need for Gynecologists will remain stable as the growth in population will likely be offset by a decrease in family size. However, women's health issues should draw more doctors into the specialty.