Obstetricians and Gynecologists (OB-GYN) are medical doctors who focus on the medical care of women, especially related to the reproductive health of women. They specialize in treating women who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. They also provide medical services to women during childbirth.
The educational requirements for becoming any medical professional are extensive. Doctors must first complete a four year bachelor's degree, usually in a medical related science field. They must then be accepted to medical school, which is a highly competitive process. Medical students spend four years in school followed by three to seven years of residency. During residency, medical students train underneath the supervision of a licensed physician. Students then must pass a certification exam given by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and further licensing may be required, depending on the state in which a doctor wishes to practice.
On average, OB-GYNs can expect a starting salary of around $120,000 per year, according to 2011 Pay Scale data. This varies by type of practice and location. Medical professionals practicing in the office of a physician earn, on average, more than those on staff at hospitals or medical schools. Medical professionals practicing in California earn more than those practicing in New York, for example. Typically, those in urban and suburban settings earn more than those in rural settings.
According to 2010 census data, OB-GYNs earn, on average, $166,000 per year. In 2011, Pay Scale reports that after five to nine years of employment, OB-GYNs earn between $101,547 and $263,223 per year. After 20 years of employment, Pay Scale indicates that, in 2011, OB-GYNs earn between $117,446 and $306,386.
The employment outlook for all physicians is positive. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment of physicians will grow 22 percent between 2008 and 2018. The employment outlook for doctors in low-income and rural areas is especially good.