Both obstetrics and gynecology are medical specialties that deal with the female body. Obstetrics is the care of pregnant women while gynecology is a more general discipline that deals with the female reproductive system. Some doctors train to work in just one discipline while some train in both disciplines.
What does a Gynecologist Do?
A gynecologist diagnoses and treats any disease or disorder in the female reproductive system that includes the vagina, uterus, ovaries, cervix and Fallopian tubes. The gynecologist will also know how to treat problems involving the urinary tract, bowel, bladder and part of the G.I. tract since these can affect the health of the reproductive system.
Common procedures a gynecologist performs can include:
• Laparoscopy: a diagnostic technique involving the use of a camera and other equipment.
• Cone biopsies: removal of precancerous cells in the cervix. The procedure can be performed in the hospital or the doctor’s office.
• A hysterectomy: surgical removal of the uterus.
What does an Obstetrician Do?
An obstetrician treats pregnant women. She takes care of them and their unborn children during pregnancy and childbirth. Additionally, she will deliver babies and take care of the mother during and after childbirth.
Common procedures an obstetrician performs include:
• External cephalic version: turning the baby around so it will be born headfirst.
• Cervical cerclage: a procedure done to prevent a miscarriage.
• Caesarean or C-section: a surgery performed to cut the baby out of the womb when vaginal delivery isn’t an option.
The obstetrician will also perform an ultrasound during the first trimester of pregnancy to determine the health of the fetus and when the baby will be born.
What kind of Education is Needed?
Gynecologists and obstetricians are both types of doctors, so they both need to go to medical school. A doctor who wants to be both a gynecologist and an obstetrician needs to serve a four-year long residency after graduating from medical school.
During the residency, whether or not they combine disciplines, the doctor will care for patients while being supervised by more experienced doctors. Gynecologists and obstetricians also need to obtain medical licenses from their state board. Most will also try to get certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Both the license and the certification require the doctor to take and pass exams.
At South Lake Obstetrics and Gynecology, we are dedicated to providing the highest quality care. Our board certified staff would be happy to speak with you and provide an evaluation. Contact us today to get started.