An Obstetrician is a physician who has successfully completed specialized education and training in the management of pregnancy, labor, and pueperium (the time-period directly following childbirth). A Gynecologist is a physician who has a successfully completed specialized education and training in the health of the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases. Typically, the education and training for both fields occurs concurrently.
An Obstetrician/Gynecologist is a physician specialist who provides medical and surgical care to women and has particular expertise in pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the reproductive system. This includes preventative care, prenatal care, detection of sexually transmitted diseases, Pap test screening, family planning, etc.
An Obstetrician/Gynecologist—commonly abbreviated as OB/GYN—can serve as a primary physician and often serve as consultants to other physicians. OB/GYNs can have private practices, work in hospital or clinic settings, and maintain teaching positions at university hospitals. OB/GYNs may also work public health and preventive medicine administrations.
OB/GYNs have a broad base of knowledge and can vary their professional focus. Many develop unique practices, providing high-quality health care for women. OB/GYNs may choose to specialize in the following areas :
- Acute and chronic medical conditions
- Adolescent gynecology
- Behavioral problems
- Health maintenance during pregnancy
- Operative gynecology
- Pregnancy and delivery
- Preventative health
- Urinary tract disorders