So you’ve heard the acronyms OB and OBGYN, but have you put much thought into what the terms mean? In this blog, we’ll cover what an OBGYN is exactly, what an OBGYN does, and then we’ll share some details about our team of Las Vegas OBGYNs.
OBGYNs are doctors who specialize in the female reproductive system. The acronym can be written several ways:
All of these are acronyms for “obstetrician-gynecologist.” Let’s break that down. Obstetrics and gynecology are broken into separate terms to describe whether the woman under the physician’s care is pregnant or not. In other words–if you’re pregnant, you’re going to your OBGYN for obstetrics care; if you’re not pregnant, you’ll go for gynecology.
The obstetrician part is where we get the acronym OB. Obstetrics is the practice of meeting the medical needs of women during pregnancy, delivery, and post-delivery. Obstetric care also includes prenatal monitoring of the baby while in the womb. At birth, newborn care is handed over to a neonatologist and soon thereafter, medical care of the infant is transitioned to a pediatrician. Obstetrics requires close monitoring of the growing baby from a few weeks after conception to birth, including:
An OBGYN will continue to care for the new mother during the postpartum period to monitor that her body heals and that postpartum depression, if present, is managed.
The second part of the OBGYN acronym is the gynecologist. A gynecologist specializes in caring for women’s reproductive systems. This can include diagnosing and managing ongoing conditions, such as painful or irregular menstrual cycles, or short-term needs such as regular STD testing. Gynecology also includes the implementation of contraceptives such as IUDs or birth control pills. Here’s a list of gynecological services that My Virtual Physician’s Las Vegas Gynecologists provide:
As the breasts are a part of the woman’s reproductive system, gynecologists also conduct cancer screenings.
There is a lot that goes into becoming an OBGYN. A bachelor’s degree plus four years of medical school is the basic requirement for medical doctors. OBGYNs must complete an additional four years of residency, to specialize in obstetrics and gynecology. That means your OBGYN has at least 12 years of training and education under his belt before licensure.
Once all education and residency requirements are met, OBGYNs must pass state-specific licensure exams. The exact requirements vary depending on the state. Board certification by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology is not required, but this endorsement shows your OBGYN’s competence and commitment. In order to maintain voluntary certification, your OBGYN has to take a maintenance exam every six years.
At My Virtual Physician, we currently have two board-certified OBGYNs ready to see patients. Let’s get to know them a little better.
Dr. David Howard is the CEO and founder of My Virtual Physician. He is a board-certified OBGYN licensed in several states including:
Dr. Howard, a Jamaican native, achieved the following education and credentials:
In addition to his training, Dr. Howard has been named a fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Read more about our doctors.
My Virtual Physician is proud to have Dr. Radihka Sharma serving our patients with their obstetrics and gynecology needs. Her education was completed at Saba University School of Medicine with residency at Aultman Hospital. She is board-certified and specializes in pelvic floor disorders and reconstruction.
OBGYNs provide essential healthcare services for women. With this blog, we hope that you have a better understanding of the services that your Las Vegas OBGYN can provide for you, whether it’s gynecology or obstetrics.