Although referred to as a single specialty, obstetrics and gynecology is made up of two subspecialties. Obstetrics relates to pregnancy care from pre-conception through birth. Gynecology covers women’s health more broadly but with specific attention to the reproductive organs. 

While primary care physicians can provide some care around women’s health, patients may be referred to an OBGYN for more specific issues or when planning pregnancy. Patients may also prefer to see a gynecologist over a primary care doctor for treatment. 

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, we dive into OBGYN for our Specialty Spotlight. 


OBGYN Residency and Stats 

After completing your medical degree, the next step to becoming a gynecologist is four years of residency.  

For IMGs, both U.S. and non-U.S., OBGYN is a difficult specialty to enter. However, this shouldn’t necessarily be a deterrent.  

Out of 1,499 available OBGYN positions in the 2022 Match, only 82 were filled by IMGs. While this is an unimpressive six percent of positions, it represents the entire Match applicant pool. IMGs hoping to match into a residency could find success at programs in historically IMG friendly states like Michigan, New York, or California. 

Read more about the 2022 Match by clicking here or a state-by-state breakdown here 


Practicing as an OBGYN 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 21,570 practicing OBGYNs in the United States as of May 2021. While most OBGYNs are women, about 15 percent are men.  

Like most fields, OBGYNs face a steep physician shortage. Half of U.S. counties do not have a practicing physician. This forces women, especially in rural areas, to travel considerable distances for care. Despite the shortage of OBGYNs, however, it is among the top 10 highest-paying medical specialties. As an OBGYN, you can expect to make an average of $296,010 annually. Of course, this will depend on experience, area, and employer.  


Interested in becoming an OBGYN? Apply for free to any of AMO’s 17 virtual or in-person OBGYN rotations. Click here to get started.