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How do I Become a Gynecologist?

Carol Francois
Carol Francois

In order to become a gynecologist, you will need to complete four tasks: post-secondary education, acceptance to a specialist program, completing the course requirements, and passing the medical licensing exam. A gynecologist is a medical doctor who specializes in women's reproductive system health. This specialty is often combined with obstetrics, which is a specialty in childbirth.

As a gynecologist, your medical practice is focused on the diagnoses and treatment of fertility, cancer, incontinence, and issues related to menstrual periods. Although gynecologists can provide medication when suitable, their focus is surgical. Historically, gynecologists were not accepted as surgeons into the Royal College of Surgeons, but this attitude has changed, and they are now full members.

A diagram of a healthy ovary and one with cysts, which a gynecologist can help with.
A diagram of a healthy ovary and one with cysts, which a gynecologist can help with.

Gynecologists are fully qualified medical doctors. They have completed medical school, and decided to compete additional study as a gynecologist. A bachelor degree is required when applying for admission into medical school. This type of career is very popular and the qualification required to gain admission are quite high. A combination of high marks in high school, community service and extra curricular activities are required to become a medical doctor.

A gynecologist helps women lead healthy lives through regular check-ups and preventative care.
A gynecologist helps women lead healthy lives through regular check-ups and preventative care.

Personal aptitude as a medical doctor and surgical skill are required to gain admission into a specialist program to become a gynecologist. Almost all medical schools offer this specialty. It is usually combined with obstetrics and is called OB/GYN, a short form of obstetrics and gynecology. This specialty requires five years of school and training to complete, in addition to the ten years required to become a licensed doctor.

A speculum is a common tool used by gynecologists.
A speculum is a common tool used by gynecologists.

Within this specialty, students can select a sub-specialty. Options include reproductive endocrinology, maternal-fetal medicine and oncology. All subspecialties require additional courses. The vast majority of these doctors do not develop patient-based practices, but instead, work in research, development and teaching.

The coursework for this specialty is a combination of classwork and practical experience. As a specialist, this type of doctor is required to obtain an expert level of knowledge and exceptional surgical skill. The depth of knowledge required is quite detailed and focused on reproductive systems.

Gynecologists are fully qualified medical doctors who specialize in women's reproductive system health.
Gynecologists are fully qualified medical doctors who specialize in women's reproductive system health.

All medical doctors are required to write a licensing exam upon completion of medical school. This license gives them to the right to see patients and to gain medical malpractice insurance. A specialist is required to write two licensing exams, one to become a medical doctor and another to become a specialist.

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    • A diagram of a healthy ovary and one with cysts, which a gynecologist can help with.
      By: Alila
      A diagram of a healthy ovary and one with cysts, which a gynecologist can help with.
    • A gynecologist helps women lead healthy lives through regular check-ups and preventative care.
      By: goodluz
      A gynecologist helps women lead healthy lives through regular check-ups and preventative care.
    • A speculum is a common tool used by gynecologists.
      By: casanowe
      A speculum is a common tool used by gynecologists.
    • Gynecologists are fully qualified medical doctors who specialize in women's reproductive system health.
      By: Zsolnai Gergely
      Gynecologists are fully qualified medical doctors who specialize in women's reproductive system health.
    • Many gynecologists have sub-specialties, including reproductive endocrinology and maternal-fetal medicine.
      By: JackF
      Many gynecologists have sub-specialties, including reproductive endocrinology and maternal-fetal medicine.
    • Gynecologists are medical doctors who specifically see women to help diagnose and treat a variety of health-related issues, including fertility, cancer and incontinence.
      By: endostock
      Gynecologists are medical doctors who specifically see women to help diagnose and treat a variety of health-related issues, including fertility, cancer and incontinence.