Obstetrics & Gynecology
Obstetrics and gynecology (often abbreviated to OB/GYN, OBG, O&G or Obs & Gynae) is the medical specialty that deals with obstetrics and gynecology. The postgraduate training programme for both aspects is unified. This combined training prepares the practicing OB/GYN to be adept at the care of female reproductive organs’ health and at the management of pregnancy.
Examples of subspecialty training available to physicians in the US are:
- Maternal-fetal medicine – an obstetrical subspecialty, sometimes referred to as perinatology, that focuses on the medical and surgical management of high-risk pregnancies and surgery on the fetus with the goal of reducing morbidity and mortality.
- Reproductive endocrinology and infertility – a subspecialty that focuses on the biological causes and interventional treatment of infertility
- Gynecological oncology – a gynecologic subspecialty focusing on the medical and surgical treatment of women with cancers of the reproductive organs
- Female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery – a gynecologic subspecialty focusing on the diagnosis and surgical treatment of women with urinary incontinence and prolapse of the pelvic organs. Sometimes referred to by laypersons as “female urology”
- Advanced laparoscopic surgery
- Family planning – a gynecologic subspecialty offering training in contraception and pregnancy termination (abortion)
- Pediatric and adolescent gynecology
- Menopausal and geriatric gynecology
Additionally, physicians of other specialties may become trained in Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics (ALSO), a short certification that equips them to better manage emergent OB/GYN situations.
Of these, only the first four are truly recognized sub-specialties by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG). The other subspecialties are recognized as informal concentrations of practice. To be recognized as a board-certified subspecialist by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or the American Osteopathic Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a practitioner must have completed an ACGME or AOA-accredited residency and obtained a Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) which requires an additional standardized examination.