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How to Become an OB/GYN Physician

Indrajit Deshmukh
If you are planning to become an OB/GYN physician, then you will have to finish 4 years of medical school, and complete a 4-year residency program to qualify for certification, which is essential for practice. More details in the upcoming slides.
Those who are wondering what an OB/GYN physician is, well, the 'OB' stands for obstetrics, and the 'GYN' stands for gynecology. The road to becoming an OB/GYN physician isn't that easy. Aspirants will have to undergo several years of classroom training, and also work under other certified OB/GYN physicians. Upon completion of training, they also have to give board certification exams, in order to acquire licensure to practice.

Educational Requirements

Like most other medical professions, students have to begin their studies from the undergraduate level. You will have to take up subjects like physics, biology, anatomy, etc., in order to fulfill the prerequisites of medical study. Just taking these subjects is not enough, you will have to score good grades in order to get in to an accredited medical school.
To get into an accredited school, you first need to give a qualifying exam, which is known as the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). This is a written exam which lasts for a grueling 4 hours. Your skills in biological science and verbal reasoning will be tested. Then you have to apply to different colleges and give several interviews to get admission.
In medical school, you will have to undergo classroom training and clinical experience for 4 years. The course work for the first two years will include subjects that deal with human anatomy, pharmacology, medical terminology, etc. The next two years will be spent gathering practical experience by working under certified physicians in hospital or clinical settings.
Once you have completed medical school, you will have to apply for residency programs in obstetrics and gynecology. The residency programs can last up to 8 years, especially if you choose a subject specialty like oncology or infertility.
For licensure, students will have to take two examinations, one conducted by the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS), and the other, the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE). Licensure is mandatory for practicing as an obstetrics and gynecology physician.

Job Description and Salary

Obstetrics is the medical science which deals with pregnant women, while gynecology is the medical specialty dealing with female reproductive organs. These two medical sciences are interrelated, and an OB/GYN physician earns expertise in both.
The job profile includes examining pregnant women, offering them prenatal care, and conducting regular tests to ensure a healthy delivery. They will conduct examinations by using techniques like ultrasound.
An OB/GYN physician will also diagnose and treat conditions like urinary tract infection, hormonal changes, and other complications related to pregnancy and women's reproductive organs.
They have to work a 50 - 60 hour week, and have to undertake responsibilities like delivering babies and conducting cesarean operations. In return, they can expect salaries that range anywhere between USD 150,000 to USD 300,000 per year.
Salary figures are affected by various factors like experience and job location. In states like California, one can expect to earn average wages that range between USD 150,000 to USD 245,000 annually. In Illinois, it takes a dip, with expected salaries standing between USD 100,000 to USD 200,000 per year.