An obstetrician is a physician that specializes in caring for pregnant women through childbirth. Women with complicated or difficult pregnancies make up a majority of their work. Many obstetricians also train as gynecologists so they are able to give medical advice and treatment concerning a woman's reproductive system. Most students in residency study both gynecology and obstetrics and then decide on their career path. Often medical students find themselves drawn to this career due to the amazing occurrence of life through the birth of a baby.
An obstetrician closely monitors their patient's health during pregnancy and delivery. They diagnose fetus abnormalities or health issues of their patient and offer healthy living advice and treatment. They see their patients on a regular basis for health consultations, ultrasounds and any of their patient's prenatal medical needs including forming a birth plan. The frequency of a patients check up often depends on risk factors and resources.
Some of the most rewarding aspects of an obstetrician's career is helping pregnant women and their unborn babies and solving often difficult and life threatening problems. They specialize in managing pregnancy, labor and the period directly following childbirth. This is often stressful so they should possess the ability to deal with stress, have excellent clinical skills, and yet remain compassionate. Some of the subspecialties that an obstetrician may specialize in are gynecologic oncology, reproductive endocrinology, critical care medicine and maternal fetal medicine. An obstetrician is invaluable when it comes to high-risk pregnancy and births and their expertise and training often results in a healthy mother and child.
Common work activities include:
- Consulting with pregnant women that have been screened as at risk for problems with their pregnancies.
- Conducting regular pregnancy examinations for women during the pregnancy including ultra-sound examinations, blood pressure and physical examinations as required.
- Assisting mothers in understanding the pregnancy and the stages of development of the baby.
- Monitoring high risk pregnancies and referring mothers to specific specialists to help monitor and support the pregnancy.
- Delivering babies and performing the first examination of the baby to ensure the baby is healthy or responding to any problems that may occur.
- Keeping up-to-date on current advances in treating mothers and infants.
- Charting and keeping accurate records of treatments for both mothers and newborns.
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