Gynecologists and Obstetricians

Last updated December 31, 2014

Human anatomy is complex and fragile, and each one of us is unique. While we can’t expect physicians to specialize in our own distinct makeup, they do specialize in health issues exclusive to women and men.

Gynecology and obstetrics -- usually combined into one specialty (ob-gyn) -- is the care and treatment of women’s organs throughout their lives. Ob-gyns, as doctors in this specialty are called, look after women’s reproductive health, dealing with birth control, pregnancy, and fertility. They also treat breast and cervical cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.

Gynecologists and obstetricians are doctors who specialize in women's health and reproduction.

Did You Know?

Ob-gyns screen women for symptoms of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases, and they administer to victims of abuse and sexual assault.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Improve and save lives -- and help to nurture new ones
  • Give some patients bad news
  • Deliver babies
  • Discuss birth control options
  • Spend years studying and training and a lifetime keeping up with advances in medicine
  • Balance heavy workloads with your personal life

It Helps To Be...

Compassionate as well as a strong decision maker and a good listener. You’ll need to listen carefully as your patients describe their symptoms. You’ll also need to be particularly sensitive when asking and answering difficult questions about women’s health, sexuality, and reproduction.

Make High School Count

  • Take plenty of challenging math and science classes such as AP® courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus.
  • Enhance your communication skills through English composition, speech, and drama classes.
  • Sign up for psychology to learn about human nature and explore the mind-body connection.
  • Ask your school counselor about becoming a peer counselor.
  • Volunteer at a health clinic, a hospital, a women’s clinic, or an eldercare facility.

Did You Know?

To prevent birth defects, a woman can take certain steps, such as making sure she has enough folic acid in her diet, before her child is even conceived.