Gynecologists specialize in illness, injuries, or diseases of the female reproductive system such as breast and hormonal problems, urinary tract and pelvic disorders, and cancer of the cervix. They work very closely at times with an obstetrician during female pregnancy as well. Those certified in both gynecology and obstetrics are called OB/GYN doctors.
Oftentimes they work in private practices, hospitals, or specialty clinics. Most are self employed or work in partnership with other medical professionals in a practice. Some also choose to become educators for graduate students entering the medical field of gynecology.
How to Become a Gynecologist
Gynecologists are doctors. Medical schools are highly competitive so it is important to begin volunteering, do well academically, and find leadership roles in high school and in your undergraduate program.
You must first earn a bachelor’s degree in an area such as biology, chemistry, or other related science. It’s encouraged you take the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) your senior year of undergraduate school to gain admission into medical school once your graduate. Once accepted into medical school it can take another 4 years of academics and anywhere from 3-7 years to complete a residency or fellowship in the gynecology specialty. Only then are you considered a doctor in gynecology.
Job Description a Gynecologist
A gynecologist checks a women’s health. They complete year exams called pap smears, diagnose sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), monitor birth control medications, and many times complete breast exams. Gynecologists often diagnose medical issues in regards to intercourse, reproductive organs, and sometimes a woman’s urinary tract.
Gynecologists use a variety of devices and machines to evaluate, diagnose, and treat patients. Machines and devices can include (but are not limited to) ultrasounds, endoscopes, medical microscopes, forceps, traction devices, and surgical devices. They see patients on an individual basis and often times have an assistant or other medical staff present to help with the examinations or procedures being performed.
Gynecologists often times are speaking about intimate subjects that may be sensitive for a patient. It is important to build a rapport and trusting relationship with their patients because often times, patients can be embarrassed or reserved in speaking about some of their concerns.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Physicians and Surgeons and Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
National Center for O*NET Development. 29-1064.00. O*NET OnLine.