Duties and responsibilities
A gynaecologist is a specialist physician who specializes in female reproductive system, which includes the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina and vulva. They treat a whole range of problems, from menstrual problems, contraception problems and the menopause. Their typical responsibilities and duties include:
- Performing regular annual exams on patients
- Conducting necessary treatments on patients (e.g., infections)
- Spotting cancerous growths within the reproductive system
- Referring the patients to other specialists if necessary
- Analyzing record, reports and test and examination results to diagnose medical conditions
- Discussing any results with patients
- Explaining procedures to patients
- Collecting, recording and maintaining patient information, such as medical history and examination results
- Monitoring patients over the course of their pregnancy
Like all physicians, gynaecologists must complete a bachelor’s degree program before attending medical school. Medical schools are extremely selective, and prospective students must have excellent collegiate grades, get good scores on the Medical College Admission Test, and possess letters of recommendation from professors or other professionals. Once medical school is completed, gynaecologists must complete a residency period that specializes in gynaecology. After residency, all physicians must pass the national licensing exam. Gynaecologists must pass the American Board of Specialties examination to acquire board certification in gynaecology.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as completing all the relevant medical training, gynaecologists will need skills such as:
- Written and verbal communication skills, as gynaecologists will need to communicate with patients, coworkers and with specialists throughout the whole treatment process. They will also need to maintain files that document patient treatments and referrals
- Sensitivity, as the information that gynaecologists discuss with their patients is personal and should be treated with discretion
- Compassion, as gynaecologists will be approached by patients with problems that they find embarrassing and personal. Gynaecologists must show the utmost understanding and compassion
- Problem solving skills, as gynaecologists will need to find the solutions to a wide range of reproductive problems
- Dexterity, as gynaecologists may have to use sharp tools and therefore must have excellent hand-eye coordination
- Attention to detail, as gynaecologists need to spot issues with patients during checkups and when providing care
- Organizational skills, as gynaecologists will have to work with multiple patients and instruct multiple team members. Therefore, they will need to coordinate numerous treatment plans and instructions
Most gynaecologists will work full time, but part time positions may be available. Gynaecologists are unlikely to be on call and will most likely work during the day. However, they may work long and irregular hours.
According to salary.com, the average annual salary for a gynaecologists in the United States was $289,000 as of 2020. The lowest 10% earned less than $216,021 per year and the highest 10% earned over $401,334 per year.
There will always be a demand for gynaecologists as women will always have problems that need to be seen to by a specialist. Gynaecologists may progress further to gather knowledge of gynaecology subdivisions. Or, they can progress to owning their own practice or supervising a practice.