Tips On Choosing An OB/GYN
An obstetrician, also commonly called an OB/GYN, usually offers a variety of women’s health services, such as annual Pap tests. Obstetricians are also trained to manage complications during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
What is an OB/GYN?
An obstetrician is a medical doctor who specializes in the management of pregnancy,
What services do OB/GYN provide?
The services offered may vary depending on the specialty and advanced training of the OB/GYN. Some physicians choose to practice only obstetrics; others may choose to practice only gynecology. Most OB/GYNs choose to practice both specialties and offer a variety of services.
These services may include:
- Prenatal care
- Labor and birt care
- Annual gynecologic exams, including Pap smear test and breast exam
- Contraceptive counseling
- Abnormal Pap test treatment, including colposcopy, cryosurgery and cone biopsy
- Acute and chronic medical conditions such as endometriosis
- Infertility diagnosis and treatment
- Menopause management
- Find an Ob/Gyn
Where do Obstetricians practice?
Many obstetricians practice in a private office, with or without a group of physicians. They may also practice in a hospital or clinic setting. Some experienced OB/GYNs maintain teaching positions at university hospitals.
How are Obstetricians trained?
Obstetricians must complete the requirements set by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG).
The requirements include:
- Graduation from approved medical school
- Completion of four years of residency training that includes: obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, ultrasonography, and preventive care
After completing the residency training, OB/GYNs must pass a test administered by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) to be board certified. Some OB/GYNs may choose to further pursue a sub-specialty such as infertility or maternal/fetal medicine.
What are the advantages of using an Obstetrician?
One reason many women choose an obstetrician for their pregnancy is because they are comfortable with their current OB/GYN. Other women choose to use an OB/GYN because they are experiencing a high risk pregnancy.
Some possible benefits to using an OB/GYN include:
- Specialized training to manage complications such aspreeclampsia or placenta previa
- Access to medical technology such as ultrasound and genetic testing
- Specialized surgical training if a cesarean birth becomes necessary
What are the disadvantages of using an Obstetrician?
Approximately 60-80% of women experience a low risk pregnancy. Using an obstetrician may be a disadvantage if you desire a more natural, hands off approach to pregnancy and childbirth. Obstetricians are trained to manage complications using many medical interventions.
Some possible disadvantages to using an OB/GYN include:
- Increased risk of an, induction, or assisted delivery
- Increased chance of cesarean birth
- Birth location at hospital rather than birth center or home
- Higher cost for prenatal care and birth