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Specialty Spotlight: Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN)

Are you an Advanced Practitioner looking for a rewarding and challenging career change? If so, working in Obstetrics and Gynecology Medicine or OBGYN might be the right choice for you. This article covers everything you need to know about OBGYN as a career, from their provided services, specialties to job locations and compensation.

All about OBGYN

Become an OBGYN Advanced Practitioner

OBGYN is in high demand. This specialty provides Practitioners with some unique practice opportunities that you won't find anywhere else in medicine.

Services Provided by OBGYN

  • Assessment and care of a variety of conditions that include: endometriosis, sexually transmitted diseases, ovarian cysts, fibroids, dysfunctional uterine bleeding, fibroids, infertility and hormone therapy.
  • Providing annual pelvic and breast exams, preventive care, Pap smears, IUD placement or removal, pre-natal, post-natal and contraception care.
  • Patient counseling for family planning and contraception, breastfeeding, menopause, general health maintenance, pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum depression.
  • First assisting for surgical procedures that can include hysterectomies, tubal ligation and Caesarian section deliveries. Some OBGYN APs also perform advanced procedures like Cryotherapy, Colposcopies, LEEP procedures, biopsy, Amniocentesis, Ultrasounds and fetal monitor strip interpretation.

OBGYN Subspecialties

Advanced Practitioners interested in expanded practice options can find many opportunities within several OBGYN subspecialties.

  • Gynecology-Oncology Surgery is a great specialty for APs interested in providing surgical care to women with cancer related gynecological or obstetrical pathologies. This work is primarily hospital-based and involves performance of pre and post OP evaluations as well as assisting with surgery.
  • Urogynecology is another OBGYN subspecialty that focuses on the treatment of both urological and gynecological issues. These APs assist with the care of urinary incontinence, pelvic prolapse, and vulvar issues to name a few. Working in this specialty involves both clinical and surgical work as many of these issues require surgical intervention.
  • Reproductive Endocrinology and Fertility care is an increasing popular OBGYN subspecialty. APs working in this field provide care and counselling to those seeking treatment for fertility issues. Care for female reproductive tract abnormalities, hormonal imbalances, congenital issues as well as corrective surgeries and IVF are frequently addressed by this specialty.

OBGYN's Practice Locations

Most AP OBGYN Practitioners provide care in hospitals, operating rooms, OBGYN clinics, Planned Parenthood centers, Family Practice clinics, Women's Health clinics and Fertility clinics.

Additional Specialty Training to Become an OBGYN

Becoming an OBGYN is just like many other physician jobs. It requires training before and after a physician can start practicing. Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants have different options when it comes to additional training to be able to practice in OBGYN.

Nurse Practitioners interested in practicing in the OBGYN specialty frequently have a specialty designation for Women's Health. This designation is obtained after pursuing specialized education in a program focused on women's health. Beyond this primary specialization, Nurse Practitioners may choose to further specialize in a OBGYN area by obtaining a certification in inpatient obstetric nursing or fetal monitoring.

Physician Assistants may practice in OBGYN specialties without a specialized designation for OBGYN care. PAs interested in pursuing additional education in Obstetrics and Gynecology can choose to attend an OBGYN Residency program. These 12-month Residency programs provide the attendee with an advanced education in OBGYN medicine while working fulltime in a hospital setting.

Compensation for OBGYN

Nurse Practitioner salaries for this specialty can vary considerably based on geographic location but average $101,787/year*. Physician Assistants working in this specialty can expect to make around $87,505/yr according to the 2015 NCCPA Statistical Profile of Certified Practicing Physician Assistants. It should be noted that this salary is lower than the national average PA salary of $102,163/yr1.

An important consideration when examining overall compensation for this specialty pertains to Professional Liability Insurance. Liability Insurance rates for this specialty are amongst the highest of all medical specialties due to increased litigation. While these rates can vary between states, it is important to account for your premium rates when evaluating your bottom line.

To view opportunities for Advanced Practitioners in Obstetrics and Gynecology go to AP OBGYN job search


How to Become a PA specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology Physician Accessed on 10/31/17.

Day in the life of an OBGYN Nurse Practitioner. on 10/31/17. 2015 National Nurse Practitioner Compensation Survey. Accessed on 10/31/17.

(1) 2015 NCCPA Statistical Profile of Certified Practicing Physician Assistants. Accessed on 10/31/17.

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