Obstetricians and gynecologists play a key role in women's health, offering tests such as pap smears and mammograms and delivering babies. Every year, "U.S. News & World Report" publishes a list of the top medical schools by specialty. High-ranking obstetrics and gynecology programs offer competitive residencies, highly qualified professors and strict admissions criteria.

Harvard University

Harvard University is the top-ranked women's health medical school in the country, partially because of its teaching hospital. Brigham and Women's Hospital is the second-ranked women's hospital in the country and provides residencies and internships to medical school graduates. During the first two years of medical school, students receive only pass-fail grades, allowing them to focus on learning rather than grades. Students can also opt to pursue dual degrees in public health and similar specialties as they complete their medical education.

University of California, San Francisco

UCSF offers a high-ranking women's health program, and also has excellent primary care programs, making it an ideal choice for students debating between OB-GYN and family medicine. The school also offers a wide variety of joint medical/master's degree programs, so students can gain additional scientific knowledge as they pursue their medical degrees. UCSF's hospital is "U.S. News & World Report's" eighth-best women's hospital in the country, making it an ideal location to complete your residency.

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University of Pennsylvania

Ranked third by "U.S. News & World Report," the University of Pennsylvania requires that all students take a "core clinical clerkship" that focuses on providing excellent care for pregnant women. The school also offers competitive residencies in obstetrics and gynecology, and all students can gain free membership to the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The school also offers a separate women's health certificate program for students interested in pursuing women's health.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins, tied with the University of Pittsburgh for fourth place in school rankings, has the fifth-ranked women's hospital in the U.S. It provides competitive women's health and pediatrics programs, and offers numerous obstetrics and gynecology electives. The school is also a research hub for women's health, and offers a teaching hospital for medical residents. Students who complete their residencies at Johns Hopkins will receive training not only in obstetrics and gynecology, but also in related subjects such as reproductive endocrinology, gynecologic oncology and urogynecology.

University of Pittsburgh

The University of Pittsburgh is ranked fourth by "U.S. News and World Report." Its program provides instruction in small groups, and uses projects and activities to further student learning. There's a strong emphasis on problem-solving and developing critical thinking skills. Not all medical schools allow students to concentrate on a specific area of medicine, but the University of Pittsburgh offers a concentration in obstetrics and gynecology. The school provides a strong focus on patient care, and requires that all new students take a course introducing the basics of being a physician and interviewing patients.

About the Author

Van Thompson is an attorney and writer. A former martial arts instructor, he holds bachelor's degrees in music and computer science from Westchester University, and a juris doctor from Georgia State University. He is the recipient of numerous writing awards, including a 2009 CALI Legal Writing Award.