Obstetricians are physicians who are experienced in treating pregnant female patients from the time of conception to shortly after giving birth.
These professionals are often grouped with Gynecologists, who also specialize in treating female patients, but not necessarily with individuals who are expecting a child.
Individuals who want to become an Obstetrician will have a passion in working with pregnant females and assuring a pregnancy and fetus are progressing normally.
Because Obstetricians are a surgery subspecialty, they are also knowledgeable in performing caesarean sections that assist in the delivery of newborn infants.
Education Requirements to Become an Obstetrician
Like all licensed doctors and physicians, individuals who want to become an Obstetrician will need to pursue a similar educational route.
In addition, individuals pursuing this track will need to complete a residency to gain experience, take a licensing exam and be approved by their state board in order to enter this profession.
The first step individuals must take to become an Obstetrician is to complete a 4 year bachelor’s degree.
Individuals just beginning their bachelor’s program can opt to study a track that will help them succeed in medical school.
Such degrees include educational tracks in biology, pre-med, microbiology or a similar field.
Individuals who studied a different degree can still apply for medical school, but are encouraged to complete courses in English, biology, mathematics, chemistry, physics and social sciences.
Individuals who want to become an Obstetrician must then attend medical school to earn a designation as a physician.
Medical school typically takes up to an additional 4 years to complete.
The first two years of medical school include a focus in laboratory and classroom work to learn the foundations of human health including classes in: anatomy, biochemistry, psychology, pharmacology and medical ethics.
The last two years of medical school includes applying their medical knowledge by working with patients under the supervision of a licensed physician.
Medical students gain experience through rotations in a variety of specializations such as: internal medicine, pediatrics, surgery, psychiatry and family practice.
During these rotations, individuals will also have the opportunity to work in their specialization – obstetrics and gynecology.
After medical school, individuals will need experience in their specialization and will have the opportunity to do so by completing a residency program in obstetrics.
Residency programs will include more extensive training in treating pregnant females.
In order to practice on patients, individuals must also seek a license to practice in their state.
Requirements will vary by state.
Individuals will need to contact their state board to determine exact requirements.
Obstetrician Job Description
Obstetricians are physicians who are specialized in providing healthcare services to female patients who are pregnant.
They see patients through several stages of pregnancy to provide treatment and observe how pregnancies are progressing.
They will monitor patients to determine whether the patients is healthy or observe symptoms that may indicate a pregnancy related illness such as gestational diabetes.
For sick patients, they will order the tests needed to identify any illnesses and provide treatment to those showing positive results.
In addition, obstetricians will also observe how a fetus is progressing through the pregnancy and identify any possible issues.
Obstetricians will monitor and treat pregnant patients through the delivery and shortly after they give birth.
Obstetrician Salary and Career Path
In 2012, the median salary for Obstetricians and Gynecologists was approximately $301,737 per year.
Exact wages will depend on several things including the type of health care office an individual works in, whether an individual owns their own practice, years of experience, professional reputation and geographical location.
The job outlook for physicians and surgeons, which includes Obstetricians, is expected to grow rapidly in the next decade.
Job opportunities are expected to grow by 18 percent through the year 2022 which is considered a much faster growth when compared to other professions.
This growth is attributed to the extension of healthcare legislation extending medical coverage to a wider range of individuals.
Obstetricians are physicians who specialize in treating pregnant female patients.
They work individually with patients from the beginning stages of pregnancy all the way through the final stages which includes the birth and the treatment immediately following to the mother and infant.
Individuals pursuing this career can expect a high level of satisfaction and some of the highest wages amongst other professions.