What Are the College Requirements for OBGYNs?

Many women rely on their obstetricians and gynecologists to help them maintain their physical well-being and to oversee their reproductive health. If this sounds like an interesting job description, read on to learn about the training and education that are required to become a physician who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN). Schools offering Health Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Overview of OB-GYN College Requirements

Obstetricians and gynecologists are physicians who specialize in women's health in general and female reproductive health in particular. To prepare for such a career, you must complete an undergraduate degree program, a medical school program and a residency.

Important Facts About Becoming an OB-GYN

Mean Annual Salary (2014) $214,750
Licensure Requirements vary by state; includes a standardized licensure exam
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 14% (for physicians and surgeons)
Work Environment Private office or clinic, group practices or hospitals

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Undergraduate Pre-Medical Program

While medical schools don't require applicants to have majored in a specific subject, many colleges offer pre-medical programs or pre-medical tracks within their biology, chemistry or biochemistry degree programs. These programs are designed to help students meet the academic prerequisites for admission to medical schools. As a pre-med student, you'll take courses in biology, chemistry, physics, calculus and English. Some pre-med tracks or programs might encourage you to also complete clinical research projects.

Pre-Med Post-Baccalaureate Certificate

If you didn't major in a science or complete a pre-medical degree program as an undergraduate student, you could instead choose to enter a pre-med post-baccalaureate certificate program before applying to medical school. Like pre-med undergraduate programs, post-baccalaureate certificate programs are designed to help you fulfill medical school admissions requirements. In addition to biology, chemistry, physics and calculus courses, some programs offer preparation courses for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT).

Medical School

Although some schools' curricula may vary, you'll generally spend the first two years of a 4-year medical school program taking courses in human health and disease, anatomy, neurology, pharmacology and genetics. The last two years are spent completing medical rotations, also known as clerkships.

Rotations allow you to gain hands-on experience in various disciplines. These can include obstetrics and gynecology, internal medicine, surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry, family medicine and neurology. The lengths of your rotations may vary, but they average between six and eight weeks. Your experiences during the OB-GYN rotations should help prepare you for a residency.

OB-GYN Residency

The OB-GYN residency should last about four years. During this time, you'll receive paid on-the-job training in areas such as gynecologic oncology and infant delivery. You'll rotate through a variety of hospitals, private practices and other medical facilities that are affiliated with your university's medical school. Depending on your program, the length of these rotations can vary from one month to one year. You may also be expected to take additional courses, complete a research project or present at medical conferences.

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