Careers in Obstetrics and Gynecology

There's a host of opportunities for caregivers focused on women's health

If you're interested in women's health, the field of obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) offers a variety of rewarding careers. Obstetrics and gynecology includes women's reproductive health and prenatal care, as well as labor and delivery. Learn more about these careers for every level of experience and education.

Obstetrician and Gynecologist Physician

Obstetric examination
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A physician who specializes in the field of obstetrics and gynecology is called an OB-GYN or simply an "O.B." These physicians often practice a mix of obstetrics (which focuses on pregnancy and childbirth) and gynecology (the branch of medicine that involves the health of the reproductive system), but some may specialize more heavily in one area over the other.

Additionally, physicians may further subspecialize within the field of obstetrics and gynecology, such as in maternal fetal medicine or reproductive endocrinology.

Nurse Midwife

obstetric examination
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A nurse midwife is a registered nurse (RN) who has additional, highly specialized training in obstetrics and gynecology. Most people think of midwives as nurses who deliver babies, and while that is a primary function of their role, their scope is often much broader. In many ways they offer similar care to that of an OB-GYN, providing family planning, gynecological checkups, and prenatal care. 

Doula

doula coaching woman during labor
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A doula is not a nurse, but a labor coach, offering non-medical physical, emotional, and informational support to a mother and her family throughout the labor and delivery process. Post-partum doulas provide support during the period after the baby is born. 

Ultrasound Technician

ultrasound technician and pregnant woman
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An ultrasound technician is also known as a diagnostic medical sonographer. While ultrasound techs are not specific to the field of obstetrics and gynecology, they are often part of the routine prenatal care of a woman and her unborn child. The ultrasound technician is an allied health professional who is trained to operate the sonography equipment that enables the physician to monitor the health of the fetus with images created by sound waves. Additionally, these imaging specialists perform breast sonograms to verify the results of mammograms, as well as abdominal sonography to detect cancer, cysts, and other conditions of the reproductive organs.

Other Nursing Careers in OB-GYN

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In addition to nurse midwives, there are many other nursing careers available in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. For example, one option is to become a Clinical Nurse Specialist with a concentration in OB-GYN. Additionally, as a registered nurse (RN) you could work in an OB-GYN physician's office, or in the labor and delivery department of a hospital.

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