Summary: An obstetrician is a practicing doctor specializing in caring for women, right through pregnancy and during childbirth. Most obstetricians also practice as gynecologists, providing advice and prescriptions for any problems with a woman’s reproductive system.
Duties: One of the many responsibilities of obstetricians is recognizing and treating pregnancy related problems. They are also responsible for educating women about pregnancy, discussing laboratory tests and its results with discretion and care, assisting in normal child delivery, performing cesarean section operations if necessary and keeping the safety and good health condition of women during childbirth. Aside from monitoring the condition of the mother, obstetricians also diagnose fetus abnormalities, create a birth plan and perform ultrasounds, check-ups and other tests to determine risk factors or other possible problems with the fetus or the childbirth. An obstetrician may also perform various administration tasks, such as purchasing office and medical supplies, managing patient appointments, or keeping inventories of medicine and other supplies. Obstetricians with their own clinics may also maintain medical records for future references and keep patient history up-to-date.
Education and Training Requirements: To become an obstetrician, one must be highly skilled in mathematics and science courses. OBs must obtain a bachelor’s degree in science, followed by four years of medical school and then a one-year internship program. Future obstetricians then need to complete four to six years of residency graduate education program, which deals with study of obstetrics. To practice, one must pass all examinations conducted by the local and central board, obtain licensing and certification. Most states require obstetricians to renew certification after a given set of years. It is also important for obstetricians to keep updated with new technologies in the field and take continuing education related to the job.
Knowledge and Skills Requirements: Important skills obstetriciansmust possess include exceptional communication skills, computer skills, interpersonal and people skills, leadership skills, problem-solving skills, multi-tasking skills and a passionate heart for this kind of profession.
Working Conditions: Like any other medical practitioners, obstetricians work in sanitized and sterilized surroundings. There are really no regular working hours because considering the nature of their work, which include doing hospitals rounds and clinical duty, obstetricians need to be on call at all hours. However, self-employed practitioners usually have a more flexible work schedule.
Salary: The long years of studying and internship do pay off once the obstetrician starts his/her practice. The compensation of an obstetrician employed in a health care facility, such as clinics or hospitals, ranges from $198,000 to $300,000 in a year. Self-employed obstetricians may earn higher or lower salaries, depending on the size of clinic, number of patients and several other factors.