Medicine is a popular choice for high-achieving students. A career in medicine is a chance to make a mark on the world and improve the lives of others. It’s not just a profession; it is a vocation. Medicine is a hugely diverse field with many opportunities to gain knowledge and build a long-lasting, lucrative career. Gynecology is one such field.
Choosing a field of specialism isn’t always easy. Medical students don’t always know what they want to specialize in, but a career in gynecology is often a popular choice for ambitious med students applying for residencies.
There are lots of benefits to choosing gynecology as your preferred career path.
What is Gynecology?
Gynecology is a field of medicine that primarily deals with the female reproductive system. They deal with women who are not pregnant, in contrast to obstetrics, which is the treatment of pregnancy. Gynecology deals with the ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and vulva.
The daily routine of a gynecologist is extremely varied. They may perform routine procedures like smear tests and breast examinations, advise patients on their reproductive health, including contraception, carry out STI tests, perform minor surgery, such as female sterilization, and more.
No two days are the same, and if you go into gynecology, you can expect a varied and fulfilling career.
Why Choose Gynecology?
Gynecologists are in a unique role. They have the opportunity to form a lasting relationship with their patients, one that may continue for many years. Not only are they required to perform routine exams, but they also have the opportunity to carry out specialist surgical procedures.
Not surprisingly, many gynecologists go into the field because they want to help women suffering from fertility problems. This is one of the most important roles of a gynecologist and helping a couple conceive is an enormously rewarding moment.
Sub-Specialties of Gynecology
Gynecologists often specialize in obstetrics as well, in which case they are then known as an OB/GYN. As an OB/GYN, you deal with women from pre-conception, all the way through to birth. Every baby you deliver will bring you enormous joy, especially if you work in a small community.
Gynecologic oncology is the study of female reproductive cancers, such as ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, and cancer of the vulva. This is a highly charged specialism, as you will be dealing with women fighting a terminal illness. Naturally, this requires a lot of empathy and compassion on your part, not least in-depth knowledge of the latest treatment options and drug protocols.
Is a Career in Gynecology Right for You?
To be a good gynecologist, you need to have an affinity with women. Part of your job is talking about very personal, deeply intimate issues. A lot of women find gynecological issues very embarrassing and they hate the idea of having gynecological exams. It’s up to you to make them feel more comfortable, and to put them at ease. This requires a lot of skill and empathy.
You will also need to build a rapport with your long-term patients. These women – and their partners – need to know they can trust you at all times.
In addition, since you may sometimes be the bearer of bad news, particularly in regard to fertility issues and reproductive cancers, you need a calm, soothing manner and good communication skills. This applies to families as well as patients since many consultations may take place during times of high stress and emotional upset.
Many gynecologists go on to work in private practice once they have earned their stripes in a hospital setting. This is a good move if you would like to work within the community, perhaps treating low-income patients or those from ethnic minorities. Or, you may prefer to become a gynecologist for the rich and famous!
If you elect to work in private practice, you will need excellent business management skills, as running a private practice is no different from running any other business.
The Career Path for a Gynecologist
All medical students must complete medical school. Upon completion of four years at medical school, a med student must then apply for a four-year residency and internship. It is at this point that a medical student has to decide which specialist path to pursue.
Wannabe gynecologists have a long, difficult road ahead of them. You will need a lot of grit and determination to become a fully-fledged gynecologist and many students fall by the wayside. Only the best students succeed in medicine.
It isn’t easy to get a place at medical school. Undergraduates should have majored in pre-med or a similar subject. To be accepted at one of the top medical schools in the country, you will need to score highly on your MCAT and have a strong grade-point average. The best medical schools are Harvard, Johns Hopkins, and Stanford. Application deadlines for the current year fall in October.
To become a certified gynecologist, you must pass a licensing exam. Once you cross this hurdle, you will become a member of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). The ACOG provides a wealth of resources, including continuing professional development training and peer support.
Continuous professional development is vital if you want to stay up to date with the latest medical research. It is also a good idea to add new strings to your bow in the form of additional qualifications. Check out the Gulfcoast Ultrasound Institute if you would like to prepare for your OB-GYN ultrasound certification exam.
The good news is that if you are successful and make it through your eight years of intense training, the job outlook is good. Data from the US Bureau of Statistics shows that gynecologists can expect a 16% increase in the number of available positions by 2026.
The average salary for a gynecologist is $235,000 per year, but if you opt to specialize in an area like gynecological oncology, you may be able to command a higher salary by virtue of your skill-set.
In summary, if you have bags of empathy and a strong interest in female reproductive health, gynecology is a good career choice for you.
Are you a gynecologist in training? Tell us more!