Gynecologists & obstetricians, in Washington, are the two surgical–medical specialists who deal with the problems concerning female reproductive systems in their non-pregnant and pregnant state, respectively. While a gynecologist treats a patient for fertility & conception-related problems, obstetricians are consulted regarding the problems faced during pregnancy & child-birth. In most cases the professions merge i.e. same specialist is found to perform both the roles.
Gynecologists & obstetricians in Washington need to be specially trained in the following categories:
1. Maternal-fetal medicine or perinatology — an obstetrician specializes in the medical and surgical management of high-risk pregnancies and surgery on the fetus to reduce its morbidity and mortality.
2. Reproductive endocrinology and infertility — a gynecologist focuses on the biological causes and interventional treatment of infertility.
2. Gynecological oncology — a gynecologist is trained to perform the medical and surgical treatment of women with cancers of the reproductive organs.
4. Urogynecology and pelvic reconstructive surgery — a gynecologist also specializes in diagnosis and surgical treatment of women with urinary incontinence and prolapse of the pelvic organs.
5. Family planning — a gynecologist receives training in contraception and artificial pregnancy termination (abortion).
6. Advanced laparoscopic surgery.
7. Paediatric and Adolescent Gynecology.
8. Menopausal and geriatric gynecology.
The Accredited Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG) have recognized only the first four specializations of those mentioned above, while the rest are considered to be informal concentrations of practice. Gynecologists or obstetricians in Washington must complete an ACGME-accredited fellowship and receive Certificate of Added Qualifications (CAQ) to receive recognition as a board-certified specialist.