How to Choose a Dr Ob Gyn

11/7/10 by Nativity Lennon

A Dr Ob Gyn is both an obstetrician and a gynecologist.  Obstetricians provide prenatal care and deliver babies, and gynecologists diagnose and treat medical problems associated with female reproductive health.   Your dr ob gyn is one of the most important healthcare providers you’ll ever choose because she plays such a prominent role in your health and well-being.

Choosing a dr ob gyn is not a decision that you should take lightly.  Simply asking someone you know for recommendations isn’t enough since there is an array of factors you have to take into consideration when making your decision.

Location

If you’re planning a pregnancy or you’re already pregnant, it’s important to choose a dr ob gyn who’s nearby.  Why?  In the first trimester, you’ll have to visit your doctor just once a month or so, but as the due date gets closer, the frequency of required doctor visits will gradually increase.  If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you can expect to see your doctor even more often.

For your convenience and safety, choose a dr ob gyn near your home or workplace who also delivers at a local hospital of your choice.  Most doctors only have permission to deliver at one institution, so make sure that you’re comfortable both with your dr ob gyn as well as the hospital where she practices.

Health History

Another important factor to consider when choosing a dr ob gyn is your health history.  If you have any chronic illnesses, such as diabetes or epilepsy, or you suffered from pregnancy complications during your last pregnancy, make sure that you find a doctor who’s equipped to provide you with the specialized care you need.  If you have a high-risk pregnancy, you may need to seek the care of a dr ob gyn who specializes in high-risk births.

Training and Credentials

A dr ob gyn should have a Medical Doctor (MD) or Osteopathic Doctor (DO) degree from an accredited medical school and a minimum of four years of training in a graduate residency program.  In addition, a dr ob gyn should have a board certification from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology or the American College of Osteopathic Obstetricians and Gynecologists, as well as a licensure from the state in which she practices.

In order to meet board membership requirements, a dr ob gyn must complete coursework annually and take recertification tests on a periodic basis.  If a doctor is board-eligible, but not board-certified, it doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s not a good dr ob gyn; it just means that she is qualified to take the Board exam but hasn’t taken it or passed it yet.  If that concerns you, don’t hesitate to ask the doctor why he isn’t board-certified.

The Doctor’s Approach

Meet with a few different doctors to ask them questions and determine what their stance is on important issues, like IVs, circumcisions, episiotomies, breastfeeding, and continuous electric fetal monitoring.  In addition, if you’re interested in natural childbirth or in having a doula or somebody else besides your partner present at your birth, it’s a good idea to discuss these issues during the interviews so you can find a dr ob gyn whose approach and philosophy align with yours.

Compatibility Issues

Childbirth is an amazing, life-changing experience, but it can also be stressful and difficult.  To ensure that you feel at ease throughout the entire process, make sure to choose a doctor with whom you’re compatible.  Your dr ob gyn should be someone who is easy to talk to, explains everything clearly and in detail, respects your wishes, and seems genuinely concerned about your well-being.

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2 Responses to “How to Choose a Dr Ob Gyn”

  1. […] going to have sex and don’t want a little one crawling around its best that you consult with your Ob Gyn and plan out a birth control method that’s right for you and your body. Share and […]

  2. […] answers your questions clearly, and who doesn’t pressure you to make decisions. Make the doctor you choose is really listening to what you […]

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