In Demand: Ob-Gyns

Physicians who specialize in women's health and reproductive care.

Jim Williams

HealthKey.com contributor

April 8, 2010


It might not be the sort of banter that is fit for water cooler talk, but for women, choosing a good obstetrician/gynecologist is worth the discussion regardless of where it happens. These specialized physicians, known as Ob-Gyns, practice in the areas of obstetrics and gynecology, most often focusing their medical discipline on pregnancy and childbirth. While gynecology is the general care and management of the female reproductive system.

What They Do

Ob-Gyns specialize in a women's reproductive health, dealing with birth control, pregnancy, and fertility. Another important part of an Ob-Gyn's job is to diagnose and treat female reproductive health issues that include sexually transmitted diseases, menstrual issues and diseases of the breasts, uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries, as well as fertility problems, and premenstrual syndrome and menopause-related issues.

More importantly, these are the specialists responsible for helping women have healthy pregnancies and healthy newborns. For the majority of Ob/Gyns' practices, the monitoring of pregnant women and delivery of their newborns is their primary practice.

Education and Qualifications

In order to be board-certified as an Ob-Gyn, a physician must graduate from medical school and then fulfill a four-year residency approved by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Rotations are divided between obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, reproductive endocrinology and ultrasonography.

Demand and Compensation

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expect jobs for doctors, including gynecologists and obstetricians, to grow much faster than the average for all careers through 2018. They also predict the retirement of many experienced doctors. Open positions should outnumber applicants, especially in rural and low-income areas.

BLS estimates that gynecologists and obstetricians earned an average income of $192,780 in 2008.