What is a gynecologist?
This is a medical doctor who treats problems of women’s reproductive systems and may even carry out the responsibilities that are related to diagnosing and treating any problems related to pregnancy. Some of the issues that a gynecologist may deal with are hormonal imbalances, cervical cancer, breast cancer, pelvic disorders, and disorders of the urinary tract. They can prescribe medicine and perform various surgical procedures. This is a very challenging medical job as the issues these physicians deal will can have an everlasting effect on the life of their patients.
Job description of a gynecologist
The main job of a gynecologist is to perform medical exams of a woman’s reproductive organs. They check to see if there are any possible problems or if there are any abnormalities. They also ensure overall wellness in women by performing “well woman” exams. Some gynecologists have additional training in treating women who are trying to become pregnant or are already pregnant and have the knowledge to deal with fertility issues. The gynecologist will be experts in everything that is baby and pregnancy related. This field is called obstetrics and gives the gynecologist the title of OB/GYN, which means obstetrician gynecologists. A gynecologist also helps women to protect themselves from communicable diseases.
They also have to know how to prepare appropriate medical and government reports of death and childbirth. They also know how to read medical test results, diagnose the woman’s current condition, and then choose the suitable treatment. If they are an OB/GYN they will treat a woman throughout her entire pregnancy from prenatal, natal, and post-natal care. An OB/GYN will also do cesarean operations if a woman cannot deliver the baby naturally or deliver their baby if she cab. Because a gynecologist treats women’s health issues they have to look at a woman’s private areas and be comfortable doing so and be professional about it.
How to become a gynecologist?
As with any medical field you should take as many classes as you can in math and science while in high school. You will also have to have a bachelor’s degree, which takes 4 years to complete, in order to get into medical school. While there is no specific field in which you have to major in to receive your bachelor’s degree you must have science as your main graduating subject or take the necessary science courses that are offered by the college you are attending. Many times when getting their bachelor’s degree they will major in pre-med and take courses in mathematics, biology, chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, humanities, and English. One requirement to get into medical school is to get a high score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). The acceptable margin is a 3.5 on your MCAT but if it is an exceptional medical college they may not expect less than having a 3.7 on your MCAT. You will also need to have a strong undergraduate grade point average.
Medical school is 4 years with 2 of the years gaining practical training. While in medical school you are taught to become a physician and not just being a gynecologist. During the first 2 years you will be taught the basic subjects but they do require in-depth learning. Some of these classes include pathology, physiology, microbiology, medical ethics, and human anatomy. After completing your second year you will have to take the first 2 parts of the Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE). During your last 2 years of medical school you will have to work as an intern in a hospital learning to work with real patients and real cases plus some extremely different, and maybe difficult, medical cases. You will also get a chance to handle gynecology-related cases. Sometime during your fourth year you will have to take the second half of the USMLE.
Once you graduate from medical school you will start your 3-8 years of gynecology residency and internship that also includes obstetrics. After finishing your residency you will be qualified to take the gynecology board examination. Once you pass the exam you will be certified by the medical board as a qualified and practicing gynecologist. Even after qualifying as a practicing gynecologist you will still need to keep yourself up-to-date with all the recent research, advancements, and medical discoveries. When you finish your residency this is when you have the chance to get sub-specialized training in fields such as gynecological oncology, endocrinology, gynecological oncology, or uro-gynecology.
In order to go higher in stature of competition you will need to keep increasing your educational qualifications. Doing this will also ensure that your yearly salary is not only rewarding but also equivalent to the time and effort you put into becoming a gynecologist. You can take additional courses that are offered by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).
In addition to having all the training you will also need a lot of patience and have excellent interpersonal communication skills. You must have the ability to make your patients feel at ease and secure. Being a gynecologist or OB/GYN you need to have the ability to stay calm under pressure and be able to make decisions quickly. If you have a private practice you will need to have good business management skills and the ability to interact with patients and their families along with any nurses and office staff in a private practice.
Work environment and schedule
When you become a practicing gynecologist you will have many different employment opportunities such as having their own private practice, working in a group practice, clinics, government agencies, universities, and hospitals. What you would be doing on a daily basis and your work schedule would depend on where you work. It also depends on your sub-specialty if you choose one or if you are an OB/GYN. Some of the basic things that a gynecologist would do can include:
- Doing “well-woman” exams to look at a how a woman’s body is maintaining its reproductive capabilities. If there are any problems the gynecologist would address them before they could become a major issue.
- When doing a well woman exam they would take a cell samples to be sent off to be tested for different medical conditions such as sexually transmitted diseases or cervical cancer.
- The gynecologist may also do breast exams during the exam to see if they feel any unusual lumps. If the patient is not sure how to do self-checks the y will teach them how to do it.
- Gynecologists also educate patients on topics such as safe sexual practices, overviews of contraceptives that are available, how to prevent contacting sexually transmitted diseases, etc.
- They can administer contraceptive injections and prescribe birth control pills.
- A gynecologist may also treat a variety of woman problems such as painful or heavy menstrual periods, internal growths, and cysts, urinary tract infections, etc.
If they are also an obstetricians they will help women who are having trouble becoming pregnant by doing tests on both her and her husband to see what the problem is. They also see pregnant women from the beginning to the end of her pregnancy, including the time after the baby has arrived and treat her if she is suffering from post partum depression. The OB/GYN will also deliver the baby whether naturally or by caesarian section.
If the gynecologist also works as an obstetrician they are on call almost all the time because babies can come at any time. If you work in a hospital you may have certain shifts you have to work but may also have to take turns being on call. If a gynecologist has their own practice, works in a group practice, or devoted clinics they may be able to set their own schedule. If they are not also an obstetrician they will usually have set appointment times and will only work Monday thru Friday and will only make a change in their hours if there is an emergency.
Pros and cons of being a gynecologist
The benefits, which come with this job are mainly related with the area of specialization that you choose to follow allowing you to develop more and more. For example, there are more gynecologists that will specialize on obstetrics, or on the fertility challenges that might appear, so their focus is constant on that area.
The job prospects, which can be found in this career, are a huge pro for anyone who is searching to become a gynecologist. You can decide on a number of places to find the perfect job within the areas of hospitals, health organizations, or even choose to go with opening your own business.
The employment rate for a gynecologist is estimated to develop far more quickly in the next years than the rate for any other health care professional. Working as a gynecologist has its rewarding when it comes to salary. In the US, a gynecologist salary is estimated to earn between $199,489 and go up to $289,714 per year. Those that were compensated gained a salary that encompassed $336,657 per year.
When it comes to educational requirements, a gynecologist will spend a lot of many on the training programs before entering this field. This is considered many times to be a con because of the loan that you made when you were studying. The years of study are pretty long in order to become a gynecologist. You’ll need to finish a four-year undergraduate school, followed by another training program to earn a physician of drugs degree, enrolling in a residency and one year of internship.
Advancing with the education, you’ll need in the end a licensure that will allow you the right to practice and then continue the professional needs with additional courses and classes. Your hours of work as a gynecologist will vary greatly, and you’ll end up doing services at odd hours such as late nights, you’ll work as well on weekends and your holidays will be occupied.
Another con related with this career is the stress factor that is present in many situations. For instance, when you have to share some difficult or complicated news such as a cancer diagnosis, or the complication that might appear at some women that are seeking to get pregnant.
Your gender is important when practicing gynecology, because it might appear like a con since many women are not used to being examined by a male gynecologist. But showing professionalism will get you to overcome that barrier and make your patient gain trust and feel more comfortable.
Gynecologist job growth
For the next ten years, the estimated rate of growth for gynecologists has a percentage comprised between 21%-28%, according to the BLS else known as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number of demanding is constantly increasing with the large number of female baby boomer population that is in need for Gynecology services. Good job prospects can also be encountered in the rural areas where it is very difficult to attract doctors.
When it comes to the job that these professionals are fulfilling the results are high, there is plenty of job satisfaction because the job many times is very rewarding, and the work is enjoyable for most of the Gynecologists. There are plenty of cases where women need assistance before and after the delivery of their babies and throughout the whole process of childbirth.
Although it takes many years to become a gynecologist it is one of the highest paying specialties of all medical fields. On average a gynecologist makes $261,000 a year but can be more or less depending on how many years they have been working as a practicing gynecologist. Even gynecologists who are just starting out can have a salary that averages over $150,000. This is not counting in extras like paid vacation, sick days, pension, social security, 401K, paid holidays, malpractice insurance paid for, health insurance, life insurance, etc. If they are also an obstetrician you can on average have a yearly salary of $358,000 but again it depends on how many years they have been practicing.
In addition to how many years they have been practicing the salary they receive also depends on their training, educational qualifications, and where they are working such as which state and city, whether it is a big city or small town. If the gynecologist has completed more than one specialized certification programs they will also have a higher salary.
Here are some examples of the salaries a gynecologist can make with and without being an obstetrician.
- Up to 2 years experience yearly salary on average is $159,000
- Having 3 or more years experience yearly salary on average is $213,000
- The maximum yearly salary on average is $358,000
- Up to 2 years experience yearly salary on average is $211,000
- Having 3 or more years experience yearly salary on average is $261,000
- The maximum yearly salary on average is $417,000
As you can see, if you have the sub-specialty of obstetrician your salary would be much higher. If you have a sub-specialty in any other field related to gynecology you can expect your salary to be higher.
Salary of a gynecologist in 2015
The yearly salary for a gynecologist in the US is estimated at $204,476 per year. The figures are many times influenced by various factors such as the organization in which one of these professionals is working, the geographical location and area, his or her qualifications and the area of specialization. If a gynecologist has gained more work experience and has completed a great number of certification programs, his or her salary can be estimated at more than $400,010 per year. The estimated salary for the year 2015 of a gynecologist will start to modify and increase due to the number of demanding and influential factors reminded earlier.
Gynecologist Salary in 2016
For the year 2016, in the US, the income of a gynecologist is estimated to have a median average of around $202,689 per year. The most common factors that impact and affect this group are the geographical location as well as the career length. Other factors that affect the income are the level of education and the industry. With less impact are the years of experience in the field.
The starting salaries for these professionals are estimated to be around $99,936 per year and climb up to $280,823 per year. To this, you can add the bonuses that usually can climb up to $38,010 and the profit sharing that is estimated at around $20,348 per year and other benefits. The lowest points in the salaries of these professionals are estimated to be around $68,212 per year while the highest points in their incomes reach around $ 305,527 per year.
The highest paying city for gynecologists is New York, with an income that is estimated at around $304,810 per year. The factors that affect these salaries are the high costs of living as well as the living expenses not to mention that the job is very demanding. The competition is very high since a gynecologist will be competing against the top professionals that are working in the city. Other cities that pay high are Washington with an estimated average that reaches at around $285,410 per year, Los Angeles with $283,410 per year and Stamford where the incomes reach around $289,210 per year.
These salaries vary according to each state and city, the rural and the urban differences in the economic market and the variations in the lowest and highest incomes. When it comes to the industries, the impact is attributed to the healthcare industries such as healthcare, biotech, and pharmaceutical and let not forget schools. The larger the industry and the company size is, the biggest the payment salary package is.
For instance, a gynecologist that is working in a physician office can expect to take home an average yearly income of around $223,072 per year while one that is working at a surgical hospital can expect to take home around $199,142 per year.
Gynecologist salary in Canada, Australia and UK
In the UK a gynecologist salary depends on how old you are when you start to practice which are:
- In your twenties—£172,500 is equal to approximately $290, 943 in the United States
- In your thirties—£225, 400 is equal to approximately $380,165 in the United States
- In your forties and fifties—£266,800 is equal to approximately $449,992 in the United States
In Canada a gynecologist would make on average each year $141, 840 CAD which is approximately $130, 144 in the United States yearly and in Australia they would make on average AU $53,000 to AU $176,500 which is approximately $49,605 to $154,238 in the United States yearly.
Conclusion on gynecologist salary
When comparing the average yearly salary of a gynecologist in the United States with the average yearly salary in the UK, Canada, and Australia it appears that these countries average yearly salary are much lower than the United States. When converting them to what they are equal to in the United States you can see that in many instances they are actually higher but you do not know what the working conditions would be in these various countries or what type of education and training is required to become a gynecologist. You also do not know what the future working as a gynecologist could be. You do not know if there is going to be a growth or decrease in jobs. In the United States it is estimated that you can expect to see a 20 to 28 percent growth in the gynecologist job field between 2010 and 2020 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. These are just the statistics and salary information for a gynecologist but if there is a sub-specialty the salary will be even higher and the growth may even be more here in the United States.
In the United States in addition to the salary a gynecologist can also expect to get a nice benefit package but how nice depends on where they are working. In these other countries there may or may not be a nice benefit package.
- First Published Date: 20 August, 2014
- Last Updated Date: 22 August, 2016