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Obstetrics and gynaecology (British English) or obstetrics and gynecology (American English) is the medical specialty that encompasses the two subspecialties of obstetrics (covering pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period) and gynaecology (covering the health of the female reproductive systemvagina, uterus, ovaries, and breasts). It's commonly abbreviated as OB-GYN or OB/GYN in US English, and as obs and gynae or O&G in British English.

Postgraduate training programs for both fields are usually combined, preparing the practicing obstetrician-gynecologist to be adept both at the care of female reproductive organs' health and at the management of pregnancy, although many doctors go on to develop subspecialty interests in one field or the other.


Education and training (residency)Edit

United StatesEdit

After completing medical school, one must complete a four-year residency program to be eligible to sit for boards.

For the ERAS match in 2017, there will be 238 participating programs accepting applicants.[1]

In all, this adds up to 11–14 years of education and practical experience. The first 7–9 years are general medical training.

Experienced OB-GYN professionals can seek certifications in sub-specialty areas, including maternal and fetal medicine. See Fellowship (medicine).

United KingdomEdit

OB-GYN candidates must first complete medical school and obtain a MBBS or equivalent certification.[2] This portion typically takes 5 years. Following this, they are eligible for provisional registration with the General Medical Council.

Then they must complete a two years of foundation training.[2][3] After the first year of training is complete, trainees are eligible for full registration with the General Medical Council.[2] After the foundation training is complete applicants take the Part 1 MCROG examination[4] administered by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. There are an additional 5 years of training after this, and two more exams (Part 2 and Part 3 MCROG exams) which adds up to 7 years total minimum in training, although some trainees may take longer.[5]


Examples of subspecialty training available to physicians in the US are:

Of these, only the first four are truly recognized sub-specialties by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). The other subspecialties are recognized as informal concentrations of practice. To be recognized as a board-certified subspecialist by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a practitioner must have completed an ACGME or AOA-accredited residency and obtained a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) which requires an additional standardized examination.[6][7]

Additionally, physicians of other specialties may become trained in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO), a short certification that equips them to better manage emergent OB/GYN situations.

Common ProceduresEdit

There are many procedures that can provided to people by OB/GYN's. Some procedures may include:[8]

  • Colposcopy: a Pap smear screening. If the results come back as abnormal, that will lead to colposcopic exam which is a more thorough examination of the cervix and vaginal tissues.
  • Loop Electrosurgical Excision Procedure (LEEP): a procedure to quickly remove abnormal vaginal tissue within the cervix. A local anesthetic and a solution to enhance the points of removal visually will be administered during the process. You can experience watery, pinkish discharge, brownish discharge, and mild cramping.
  • Endometrial Biopsy: a procedure that collects a tissue sample from the endometrium lining of the uterus. The sample will be tested and checked under a microscope for abnormals cells or indicators of cancer.
  • IUD Insertion: an intrauterine device is T-shaped and is placed in the uterus through the cervix. It is a reversible contraceptive that could be done in a doctor's office.
  • Nexplanon: is about a 4cm implant that goes into the upper forearm. This implant releases birth control hormones into the body and can last up to 3 years. This type of birth control has a 99% success rate for pregnancy prevention.
  • Dilation and Curettage (D&C): an out-patient procedure to open(dilate) the cervix to collect samples of endometrial tissue with a curette. A D&C can also be done to remove a fetus that was not passed naturally after a miscarriage.
  • Tubal Ligation: a surgery to close the fallopian tubes for the prevention of pregnancy. It is also known as "tying the tubes".
  • Ovarian Cystectomy: the removal of a cyst that either has a solid appearance, larger than 3 inches in diameter, has the possibility to become cancerous, or causes a constant pain. Cyst can be removed without removing an ovary. Women who don't take birth control produce small cyst every other month but can disappear on their own.


The national demand for women's health care is forecast to grow by 6% by 2020. Most (81%) ob-gyn related services will be for women of reproductive age (18–44 years old). Growth in demand is forecast to be highest in states with the greatest population growth (Texas, Florida), where supply is currently less than adequate (western United States), and among Hispanic women. This increase in demand by 2020 will translate into a need for physicians or nonphysician clinicians, which is clinically equivalent to 2,090 full-time ob-gyns. The salary of an obstetrician varies by country or state. In the United States, as of 2017, the average salary is $222,400–$315,277.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "ERAS 2017 Participating Specialties & Programs".
  2. ^ a b c "Entry requirements, skills and interest (obstetrics and gynaecology)". Health Careers. 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  3. ^ "UK Foundation Programme". Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  4. ^ "Part 1 MRCOG exam". Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  5. ^ "Training and development (obstetrics and gynaecology)". Health Careers. 2015-05-27. Retrieved 2019-04-11.
  6. ^ Welcome to the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology Web Site: Certification of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
  7. ^ "Eligibility/Board Eligibility". American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. 2012. Retrieved 19 September 2012.
  8. ^ "Common GYN Procedures | Obstetrics & Gynecology | Springfield Clinic". Retrieved 2019-03-13.


  • Llewellyn-Jones, Derek, Fundamentals of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 7th ed., Mosby, 1999.

Further readingEdit

External linksEdit