Doctors of obstetrics and gynecology, often abbreviated as OB/GYNs specialize in female health and reproduction, and deal with pregnancies. Students interested in pursuing this line of work have to complete a bachelor's degree, all of the pre-med requirements, medical school and a four-year medical residency in this specialty. Prospective medical students tend to major in biology, chemistry or biochemistry as undergraduates and complete their pre-med requirements while taking courses for their bachelor’s degree.
Pre-med requirements are courses that medical schools require students to complete prior to enrolling in medical schools. Pre-med courses prepare students to tackle gynecologist course requirements later in their program. Prerequisites for medical school courses give students a strong foundation in the basics of biological and natural sciences. Requirements vary, but most medical schools require students to take a year of general biology with a laboratory, a year of general and organic chemistry, each with laboratories, and a year of introductory physics with a laboratory. Furthermore, many medical schools also require students to take a course in microbiology with a laboratory and one or two semesters of calculus.
OB/GYN Classes to Take in High School
High school is not too early to start preparing for obstetrician schooling and training. Like all doctors, specialists in OBY/GYN must have excellent communication skills to work effectively with colleagues and patients. Classes in English, public speaking and drama help aspiring physicians enhance verbal and written communication skills. Courses in psychology, human development and nutrition offer an introduction to health and wellness. What's more, obstetrician schooling is a science based curriculum. Science classes in high school and college build a foundation for the specific gynecologist education requirements of medical training.
High school students who know that they want to become OB/GYNs in the future should prepare for college pre-med requirements by taking a year of introductory chemistry and advanced placement chemistry while they are in high school. Both of these courses have laboratory components that will give students experience in dealing with chemical samples and doing chemistry research. Both courses will also introduce students to topics such as elements, molecules, compounds, acids bases and balancing chemical equations. Students who take advanced placement chemistry will also have the opportunity to take the advanced placement chemistry exam at the end of the year. Those who pass the exam can receive college credit for the first semester of college-level general chemistry.
In addition to chemistry, high school students interested in becoming doctors of obstetrics and gynecologists should also take a year of introductory biology and advanced placement biology, if it is available. These courses will introduce students to handling biological samples and conducting laboratory work in biology, as well as cover topics such as taxonomy, cells and cellular functions. College-level general biology is an intense pre-med course, and high school experience in this subject will go a long way in preparing students for its fast pace and high expectations.
Calculus and Physics
Many medical schools also expect students to have a good understanding of mathematics and physics, including one or two semesters of calculus and a year of physics. To prepare for these courses, high school students interested in becoming OB/GYNs should take all high school math classes that their schools offer, including algebra 1, algebra 2, geometry, pre-calculus and advanced placement calculus. If calculus is not available then students should take classes up to pre-calculus so that they can start with calculus 1 when they begin college. Furthermore, high school students should also take a year of introductory physics and advanced placement physics, if it is available. Physics is a highly mathematical science and good understanding of mathematics goes a long way in helping students succeed in this course.
Community Service Experience
High school students with ambitions of entering the competitive field of obstetrics and gynecology may wish to consider volunteering in a women's clinic or similar setting. Real world experience in a women's health care facility would look great on a medical school application. Medical schools seek personable applicants with clear direction and a sense of purpose.
Kate Prudchenko has been a writer and editor for five years, publishing peer-reviewed articles, essays, and book chapters in a variety of publications including Immersive Environments: Future Trends in Education and Contemporary Literary Review India. She has a BA and MS in Mathematics, MA in English/Writing, and is completing a PhD in Education.