How to Become a Doctor Who Delivers a Baby

Obstetricians care for mothers during pregnancy and through the birth.
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Having a child can be one of the greatest moments of a woman's life. As an obstetrician, you will play a role throughout a woman's pregnancy assessing risks, conducting exams, monitoring progress and ultimately delivering the child. Most obstetricians also train and practice as gynecologists. Becoming an obstetrician requires obtaining an M.D. degree and completing specialty training.

    Step 1

    Obtain a bachelor's degree as a prerequisite for medical school. This will typically take four to five years of study, including courses in biology and chemistry. Some schools offer specific pre-medicine undergraduate programs. You will need to successfully take the MCAT, or Medical College Admissions Test, for admission to a medical school.

    Step 2

    Complete medical school to earn a Doctor of Medicine -- M.D. -- degree. Typically this takes four years, with two years being devoted to classes and two being devoted to practical, or clinical, training. You will take the first steps of the board-certification exams required to practice medicine.

    Step 3

    Enter a residency program in obstetrics and gynecology. These programs begin with a one-year internship in general practice and will be followed by three to seven years of specialized training in both obstetrics and gynecology. The length of time depends on the level of specialization you seek. Some obstetricians may specialize in gynecological cancers, effects of hormones on reproduction and pregnancy, critical care medicine and maternal fetal medicine.

    Step 4

    Pass the final stage of your medical licensing exam -- the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination, or USMLE -- to become a board-certified obstetrician.

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