An obstetrics doctor, or obstetrician, is a medical professional who specializes in caring for pregnant women before, during, and after childbirth. Many professionals have specialized training in other areas of female health, especially gynecology. An individual who wants to become an obstetrics doctor must be willing to complete a bachelor's degree program, four years of intensive studies at an accredited medical school, and up to five more years of residency training. In addition, a new doctor is usually required to pass licensing and certification exams before practicing independently.
A person who wants to become an obstetrics doctor should first enroll in a strong premedical program at a respected college or university. A four-year bachelor's degree program typically consists of lecture courses and laboratory work, where students receive basic instruction in human anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biology, health, and statistics. Students also learn the fundamentals of physician work and the health care industry through specialized classes. Near the end of a bachelor's program, an individual can prepare medical school application materials and take entrance exams.
Gaining admission into an accredited medical school entails performing well in undergraduate studies, passing rigorous entrance exams, writing detailed personal essays, and acquiring strong letters of recommendation. Individuals with experience in the health care field, such as those who have worked as medical aides or caregivers, often have the best chances of being accepted into medical schools. A hopeful doctor usually receives four years of classroom, laboratory, and practical instruction on a variety of medical topics. A student who plans to become an obstetrics doctor might take specialized electives that cover such subjects as women's health, gynecology, and pregnancy.
Upon completion of medical school, a graduate receives a PhD and usually obtains a six month to one year residency at a primary care hospital to receive detailed physician training. He or she is often allowed to diagnose and treat various conditions under the supervision of experienced doctors. The last three to four years of a residency are usually spent at a specialized women's health clinic or the obstetrics unit of a general hospital.
After finishing residency training, an individual is required to take licensing exams governed by his or her state or country to become an obstetrics doctor. In the United States, the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology administers a written exam to test a new doctor's knowledge of clinical procedures, safety measures, and ethics. Most other countries have similar organizations which oversee licensing procedures. Once an individual passes the exam, he or she can become an obstetrics doctor in a hospital, clinic, or private practice.