July 11, 2013
Article by Global Pre-Meds
Hospital doctor shadowing & global health experience programs.
Obstetrics and Gynaecology deals with women’s health. A gynaecologist is responsible for diagnosing and treating disorders of the female reproductive system. An obstetrician is responsible for the health of the mother and foetus before, during and after pregnancy, with duties varying from monitoring normal pregnancy to making on the spot decisions during obstetric emergencies such as severe preeclampsia and postpartum haemorrhage.
To be an obstetrician, you will need to have:
-Extensive knowledge of anatomy, endocrinology, reproductive physiology and neonatal physiology.
-Thorough knowledge of women’s health and newborn babies’ health.
-Detailed knowledge of genetics, microbiology, immunology, pharmacology and haematology.
-Training for performing different delivery procedures including forceps and caesarean.
-Ability to counsel patients who are going through complicated pregnancies
-Self confidence to be able to make quick decisions in an emergency.
You have to be prepared to work long hours as an obstetrician. You have to be prepared to be disturbed anytime, anywhere where there is an on-call requirement and you may find yourself helping with deliveries in all kinds of settings.
You will also need to be familiar with a wide range of equipment and methodologies including:
-Ultrasonography as well as other kinds of imaging techniques
-Amniocentesis and serum screening
-Cardiotocography and other foetal tests
To be qualified as an obstetrician you will first have to obtain a medical degree and then undertake further training. In all it can take as long as 14 years to become fully qualified.
Obtaining a Medical Degree could take 4-6 Years. There are two types of medical degrees available in Australia:
-A 4-Year Graduate Entry Medical Degree: To apply for this degree, you will need to have completed a bachelor degree in any discipline and you will also have to sit the UMAT or the Undergraduate Medication and Health Sciences Admissions Test
-A 5 – 6 year Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS): To apply for this degree you will need to complete year 12 or equivalent and obtain a high end ATAR or Australian Tertiary Admission Rank. You will also have to sit the UMAT.
After you’ve completed your medical degree, you receive provisional registration and become a junior doctor. As a junior doctor you must complete a 1 year internship. Successful completion of your internship entitles you to full medical registration.
Before you can start practicing medicine independently, you are required to complete a program of postgraduate medical training and obtain a fellowship at a specialist medical college.
Most junior doctors spend another year after their internship working in the public hospital system. During this period of ‘prevocational’ on-the-job training, you are known as a Resident Medical Officer (RMO) or ‘resident’.
After working in the public hospital system as an RMO, junior doctors interested in obstetrics can apply to The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to undertake further training and ultimately receive Fellowship.
The average annual salary for a gynaecologist in Australia is between AU$53,000 to AU$176,500.
The average annual salary for an obstetrician in Australia is between AU$140,997 to AU$514,000.