OB-GYN Doctor Job Description

Obstetrician examines a pregnant woman

Obstetrician examines a pregnant woman. OB-GYN doctors treat and assist women with many diseases and pregnancy.

Obstetricians and Gynecologist are specialized doctors who diagnose, treat, and help prevent diseases of women, especially those affecting the reproductive system and the process of childbirth. The Job Description: Obstetricians and gynecologists (ob/gyns) are specialists whose focus is women’s health.

They are responsible for general medical care for women, but also provide care related to pregnancy and the reproductive system. Like general practitioners, OB GYN's are concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of general health problems, but they focus on ailments specific to the female anatomy, such as breast and cervical cancer, urinary tract and pelvic disorders, and hormonal disorders.

Ob/gyns also specialize in childbirth, treating and counseling women throughout their pregnancy, from giving prenatal diagnoses to delivery and postpartum care. Ob/gyns track the health of, and treat, both mother and fetus as the pregnancy progresses.

Physicians and surgeons serve a fundamental role in our society and have an effect upon all our lives. They diagnose illnesses and prescribe and administer treatment for people suffering from injury or disease. Physicians examine patients, obtain medical histories, and order, perform, and interpret diagnostic tests. They counsel patients on diet, hygiene, and preventive health care.

Working Environment

Working conditions are usually pleasant with the work environment being indoors in well lighted exam rooms and hospitals. Hours of work frequently exceed 60 hours a week in the busier practices. This typically can result in being awakened at all hours of the night and/or being asked to come in at irregular times to evaluate a patient.

 Education and Training

Formal education and training requirements for physicians are among the most demanding of any occupation—4 years of undergraduate school, 4 years of medical school, and 3 to 8 years of internship and residency, depending on the specialty selected. A few medical schools offer combined undergraduate and medical school programs that last 6 rather than the customary 8 years.

Premedical students must complete undergraduate work in physics, biology, mathematics, English, and inorganic and organic chemistry. Students also take courses in the humanities and the social sciences. Some students volunteer at local hospitals or clinics to gain practical experience in the health professions.


Licensing and Credentialing

In all 50 states and the U.S. Territories Physicians are regulated. The usual method to be a credentialed and licensed Obstetrician and Gynecology Doctor is:
1) Possess the amount of training and/or a degree from an accredited school of medicine or osteopathy
2) Complete an accredited program of Obstetrics and Gynecology
3) Pass a national exam
4) Apply for licensure in the state you wish to practice in.

Important Points

Many physicians and surgeons work long, irregular hours; over one-third of full-time physicians worked 60 or more hours a week in 2008.
Formal education and training requirements are among the most demanding of any occupation, but earnings are among the highest.
Job opportunities should be very good, particularly in rural and low-income areas.
New physicians are much less likely to enter solo practice and more likely to work as salaried employees of group medical practices, clinics, hospitals, or health networks.

Career Progression

The outlook for physicians is projected to be very good. Significant shortages exist in rural and underserved areas. The trend towards group practices will provide opportunities for more doctors to hold positions of leadership and authority. This still remains one of the best paying professions in the healthcare industry.

Resources for Obstetricians and Gynecologists Job Description:

Obstetricians and Gynecologists O-NET Online Summary 

Physicians and Surgeons Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook

ACOG - American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists


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