Gynecologists focus on the diagnosis and treatment of a variety of disorders of the female reproductive system. Obstetricians deal specifically with pregnancy, childbirth, and related conditions. Since the fields of obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) are closely related, physicians generally practice these specialties together.
Many obstetricians are members of a group practice. Most obstetric groups make sure that every doctor in the group either has seen or is familiar with each patient during her pregnancy. Thus, when it comes time for delivery, the mother will generally be taken care of by a doctor whom she knows.
After finishing medical school, an OB/GYN completes a four-year residency. During this time, the resident will also receive some training in internal medicine, general surgery, and the care of the newborn infant.
The OB/GYN often acts as the primary caregiver for women of childbearing age. He or she will also work closely with other medical specialists if specific problems occur that do not directly involve the reproductive system.
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