- Obstetrician-gynecologists specialize in the general medical care of women, as well as care related to pregnancy and the reproductive tract.
The obstetrician-gynecologist goes through four years of specialized residency training in areas dealing with
preconception health, pregnancy, labor and childbirth, postpartum care, genetics, genetic counseling and prenatal
Training in gynecology also covers women's general health, including care of reproductive organs, breasts and
Screening for cancer at multiple sites is performed or initiated by the Ob-Gyn specialist.
Gynecology also includes management of hormonal disorders, treatment of infections, and training in surgery to
correct or treat pelvic organ and urinary tract problems to include cancer of the reproductive organs.
During four years of training, the obstetrician-gynecologist learns about aspects of preventive health care,
including exams and routine tests that look for problems before you are sick, immunizations, overall health and
provision of care for a range of medical problems, not just those of the reproductive system.
After residency, a physician may seek certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.
- To become Board certified, a physician must pass a written test to demonstrate that he or she has obtained the
special knowledge and skills required for medical and surgical care of women.
He or she must also show experience in treating women's health care prior to the oral examination.
An oral examination is given by a team of well-respected national experts; the exam tests the physician's skills,
knowledge and ability to treat different conditions. The examiners also review the patients the physician treated
during the past year.
Physicians certified after 1986 must actively participate in the MOC process to maintain their certification
MOC Part III Exam FAQs.
2016 Subspecialty Candidate FAQs.
- Board-certified obstetrician-gynecologists may become further specialized in the areas of:
- Maternal-Fetal Medicine (focuses on the medical and surgical management of high-risk pregnancies),
- Gynecologic Oncology (care of women with cancers of the reproductive system),
- Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (care of women who have hormonal or infertility problems), and
Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery (care of urinary tract dysfunction and disorders stemming
from loss of support of pelvic structures).
This extra training and certification requires three years of training after a basic residency, and the
passing of both a written and oral examination.
- Lists of the approved fellowship programs can be found on the Fellowship Programs section of our Publications page.
All certified obstetrician-gynecologists can treat patients with these disorders; however, some physicians have
this extra training that qualifies them to take a written and oral test to be certified in these areas.
As of April 1, 2011, verification of a physician's certification with the American Board of Obstetrics and
Gynecology will be available ONLINE only.
Please go to the section entitled "Is Your OB/GYN Certified" on our website and follow the directions.
- Verification of a physicians certification with ABOG is available at no charge
- Only physicians certified with ABOG may be viewed online.
- Yes, through the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) at 1-866-275-2267 (for patients or potential patients).
The ABMS can only give you information if a physician is certified. They cannot give the various completed phases
of a physician if he is not yet certified.
Also, the ABMS does not have the names of all certified physicians. Prior to 1995, physicians had the right not
to be listed in outside directories. A small percentage of physicians have chosen not to be published.
Following are links to the web sites of organizations that are affiliated with the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or otherwise involved with obstetrics and gynecology or certification and maintenance of certification.
The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology cannot assure the accuracy or appropriateness of the information provided by any resources referenced here.
We would urge you to exercise caution before taking any action based on the information you receive. Please review our legal notices.
Nominating organizations for ABOG
The Board also functions in cooperation with the:
Other Obstetric and Gynecologic Organizations and Subspecialty Societies
ABMS and other Certifying Boards
Other Organizations involved with Certification