Some duties of an obstetrician include performing gynecological exams, monitoring pregnancy and helping women who plan to become pregnant. Obstetricians also assist women during labor and delivery and help care for the mother's health following childbirth.
Obstetricians are commonly both an obstetrician and gynecologist, or an OB/GYN. A gynecologist cares for girls and women of all ages, performing pap smears, diagnosing medical conditions and occasionally performing minor surgical procedures. Some obstetricians also have other specialties, such as in infertility.
Obstetricians also help to test women for diseases like cervical cancer and breast cancer. For older women, they diagnose and help treat menopause. They also provide resources on disease prevention, personal hygiene and proper sexual health.
Obstetricians must either have a doctor of osteopathic medicine (D.O.) degree or a doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree. They also need to complete four years of OB/GYN residency at a clinic or hospital. Additionally, all states in the United States require obstetricians to obtain board certification and licensing and to maintain their current license status. In 2014, the average salary for an obstetrician was about $250,000. From 2012 - 2022, all physicians, including obstetricians and gynecologists, can expect a job growth rate of about 18 percent.