An obstetrician is a physician who has successfully completed specialized education and training in the management of pregnancy, labor, and pueperium (the time-period directly following childbirth).
A gynecologist is a physician who has a successfully completed specialized education and training in the health of the female reproductive system, including the diagnosis and treatment of disorders and diseases.
Typically, the education and training for both fields occurs concurrently. So basically an OB/GYN is a physician specialist who provides medical and surgical care to women & pregnant people and have particular expertise in pregnancy, childbirth, and disorders of the reproductive system. This includes preventative care, prenatal care, detection of sexually transmitted diseases, Pap smears, and family planning.
An OB/GYN, can serve as a primary physician and often serve as consultants to other physicians. They can have private practices, work in a hospital or clinic settings, and maintain teaching positions at university hospitals. They may also work public health and preventive medicine administrations.
Because they have a broad base of knowledge and can vary their professional focus many develop unique practices, providing high-quality health care for women. Which makes them the best and obvious choice for High Risk Pregnant People. OB/GYNs may choose to specialize in the following areas:
• Acute and chronic medical conditions
• Adolescent gynecology
• Behavioral problems
• Health maintenance during pregnancy
• Operative gynecology
• Pregnancy and delivery
• Preventative health
• Urinary tract disorders
OB/GYN Education, Training, & Certification Requirements
The education and training requirements for obstetrics/gynecology are set by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) and include not only graduation from an approved medical school but also the completion of an OB/GYN residency program (minimum of 4 years in length) that is accredited by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and includes the following:
• Rotations divided between obstetrics, gynecology, gynecologic oncology, reproductive endocrinology, and ultrasonography
• Experience in primary and preventive care role for the equivalent of at least 6 months of the residency (including inpatient and ambulatory care; diagnosis and management of breast disease and lower urinary tract dysfunction; performance and interpretation of diagnostic pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound)
• Increase in patient responsibility with each year of training
• Serving as chief (senior) resident during final year of residency
Once the above requirements are met, physicians are allowed to take the certifying examinations given by ABOG. Physicians who pass the examination are granted board certified status in Obstetrics and Gynecology, a pre-requisite to subspecialty certification.
If certified in obstetrics and gynecology after 1986, the physician must complete a recertification process every 10 years to maintain certified status. If certified before 1986, the physician can take a voluntary recertification process.
The word midwife simple means "with woman". Over 80 percent of all babies in the world are born into the caring, skillful hands of a midwife. Midwives are the traditional care providers for the Family unit and specialists in normal pregnancy and birth. They are trained professionals with expertise and skills in supporting pregnant people to not only maintain healthy pregnancies but have optimal births and recoveries during the postpartum period as well. They provide the families with individualized care uniquely suited to their physical, mental, emotional, spiritual and cultural needs. Midwifery is a person-centered empowering model of maternity care that is utilized across the world with the best maternal and infant outcomes such as The Netherlands, United Kingdom and Canada.
In the United States there are several pathways to midwifery education and training. Most result in midwifery certification and qualify the candidate for licensing in her/his state or municipality. Those seeking to become certified and licensed midwives can choose among several routes such as nurse-midwifery or direct-entry midwifery educational programs. The most common types of midwives are listed below including the three professional U.S. midwifery credentials, Certified Professional Midwives (CPM), Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNM), and Certified Midwives (CM).
Different types of Midwives
- Certified Midwife (CM):
A CM is an individual educated in the discipline of midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.
- Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM):
A CNM is an individual educated in the two disciplines of nursing and midwifery, who possesses evidence of certification according to the requirements of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. After attending an educational program accredited by the American College of Nurse Midwives Certification Council (ACC), they must pass the ACC examination and can be licensed in the individual states in which they practice most often in hospitals and birth centers.
- Certified Professional Midwife (CPM):
A CPM is a knowledgeable, skilled and professional independent midwifery practitioner who has met the standards for certification set by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and is qualified to provide the midwifery model of care. The CPM is the only midwifery credential that requires knowledge about and experience in out-of-hospital settings. The NARM certification process recognizes multiple routes of entry into midwifery and includes verification of knowledge and skills and the successful completion of both a Written Examination and Skills Assessment. The CPM credential requires training in out-of-hospital settings.
- Direct-Entry Midwife (DEM): A direct-entry midwife is an independent practitioner educated in the discipline of midwifery through self-study, apprenticeship, a midwifery school, a college, or university-based program distinct from the discipline of nursing. A direct-entry midwife is trained to provide the Midwives Model of Care to healthy women and newborns throughout the childbearing cycle primarily in out-of-hospital settings. Licensed Midwives (LM) and Registered Midwives (RM) are examples of direct-entry midwives. DEMs are not required to become nurses before training to be midwives. The Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC) is currently accrediting direct-entry midwifery educational programs and apprenticeships in the United States. Direct-entry midwives' legal status vary according to state, and they practice most often in birth centers and in homes.
- Florida Licensed Midwife (LM): Florida recognizes the World Health Organization model of midwifery, acknowledging midwifery as an independent profession, separate from obstetrics and nursing. Florida Licensed Midwives undertake three years of academic and clinical education, covering the core competencies of MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) and the ACNM (American College of Nurse-Midwives). They then sit for theNARM (North American Registry of Midwives) Exam to become licensed. Practicing under Florida Statute Chapter 467, Florida's Licensed Midwives are serving women and families in birth centers and homes, providing safe and satisfying care.
- Traditional Midwives: In addition, there are midwives who—for religious, personal, and philosophical reasons—choose not to become certified or licensed. Typically they are called traditional or community-based midwives. They believe that they are ultimately accountable to the communities they serve; or that midwifery is a social contract between the midwife and client/patient, and should not be legislated at all; or that women have a right to choose qualified care providers regardless of their legal status.