If you're thinking of adding to the number of obstetricians and gynecologists in the country-- there were almost 21,000 in 2012-- you'll need to find a good medical school. "Good" can be defined in a number of ways, but one method is to survey medical school deans and senior faculty to gather their opinions about obstetric and gynecology programs. "U.S. News and World Report" collected this information and used it to rank OB/GYN departments in American med schools.
Located in Boston, Massachusetts, Harvard's medical school ranks No. 1. With annual tuition at $49,875, it's the most expensive school in the top five. First-year medical students are introduced to women's health topics in general courses on the human body and integrated human physiology. During the next year, students continue these studies in human systems and begin learning OB/GYN clinical skills at Brigham and Women's Hospital. Third year students participate in a 6-week OB/GYN rotation where they focus on outpatient visits, labor and delivery, gynecological surgery and oncology.
University of California San Francisco
No. 2 in the country is the University of California San Francisco. It's the least expensive of the top five: $31,134 for in-state students, $43,379 for out-of-state. Electives in women’s health are available during the first two years, and some students work on faculty research projects in the field. All students take the classroom component for obstetrics and gynecology during the second year. In the same semester, students learn to do pelvic exams during a diagnostics course. The class uses professional patients who are trained to provide feedback about the examination. Students have a six-week OB-GYN rotation in their final year, where they assist in labor and delivery and provide pelvic exams to clinic patients.
University of Pennsylvania
Next on the list is Penn Medicine in Philadelphia. The OB/GYN core curriculum is covered through lectures, case study sessions and workshops. Topics include abnormal uterine bleeding, menopause, and prenatal genetics. Students learn skills needed for sutures, vaginal delivery and intravenous blood collection at a simulation center. During this time, med students also have a 6-week rotation at one of four hospitals. This experience covers pregnancies, labor and delivery, common OB/GYN problems, preventative care, screenings and family planning.
Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, Maryland, is rated fourth. During the major OB/GYN component, students spend 8 weeks focused on women’s health. They learn to perform common examinations, observe surgical procedures, study preventative care and see how reproductive health is connected to overall physical and mental health. Students rotate through three hospitals, spending 2 weeks on inpatient gynecology services, 2 weeks on inpatient obstetrics and 2 weeks in an outpatient clinic. For the final rotations, students choose two OB/GYN electives, such as reconstructive medicine, oncology, pathology, endocrinology, family planning and mood disorders.
University of Pittsburgh
Pennsylvania's University of Pittsburgh tied with Johns Hopkins for fourth place. Second-year med students study reproductive and developmental biology through lectures, workshops, discussion, self-study and conferences. During the third year, a four-week clerkship is held in office, clinic and hospital settings. Students take patients’ OB/GYN histories, perform breast and pelvic exams, learn to recognize women’s diseases and study the normal stages of pregnancy. The final year offers an elective in OB/GYN infectious diseases.
- U.S. News and World Report: Grad Schools: Methodology: Best Medical Schools Rankings
- U.S. News and World Report: Grad Schools: Women's Health
- Harvard Medical School: Course Listings for Academic Year 2013 - 2014
- University of California, San Francisco: Medical Student Program
- Chicago Tribune: Think Your Job's a Pain? Try Being a 'Professional Patient'
- Penn Medicine: OBGYN Medical Student Education
- Johns Hopkins Medicine: Medical Student/Clerkship Program
- University of Pittsburgh: M2
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Occupational Employment Statistics: Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: How to Become a Physician or Surgeon
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