It’s important to find an OB/GYN who fits both your current and future needs. You want a doctor you feel comfortable with — someone who takes care of you and listens. Finding an OB/GYN is essential but choosing one can feel overwhelming.
Here are some tips to help you select an OB/GYN who is right for you.
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Factors to Consider When Finding an OB/GYN
- First, determine whether you specifically need an obstetrician, a gynecologist, or both (an OB/GYN). An obstetrician specializes in all stages of pregnancy. A gynecologist, on the other hand, specializes in all aspects of women’s health.
- Women who neither are pregnant nor plan to have children should decide how to choose a gynecologist. However, women who are currently pregnant or planning to become pregnant will want to find out how to choose an obstetrician. As OB/GYNs, many doctors specialize in both areas, but be sure to double-check before making an appointment.
- After you choose a hospital or clinic, select a doctor who is covered under your current health insurance plan. If they have a bio online with more information, examine their credentials, history, and specialties. Do you have a health condition that requires you to see an OB/GYN who specializes in higher-risk patients? Before making an appointment, make sure the doctor can fulfill your health care needs. Ask yourself if you need to choose a doctor who offers specialized care, such as that for infertility, endometriosis, or pelvic pain. Most women do not need to see a specialist for routine care.
- Next, pick a hospital or clinic to visit. You can browse their specialties and services online and may want to visit the doctor’s office in person. Many women find it helpful to ask a knowledgeable family member or friend for recommendations.
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Before Your First Appointment
How to choose a gynecologist
Make a list of questions that you would like the OB/GYN to answer. Some questions you might ask are:
- What are your specialties?
- How long have you been practicing?
- Who will I see at my follow-up appointments?
- How do you approach women’s health care?
How to choose an obstetrician
If you are currently pregnant or plan to become pregnant, you might have additional questions, such as:
- How long have you been in practice?
- What is your policy on patients writing their own birth plans?
- Under what conditions would you induce labor?
- At which hospitals does your practice deliver?
- Does the practice offer midwifery care?
Questions to Ask After Your First Appointment
After you’ve had your first appointment with an OB/GYN, reflect on your experience. Did you feel heard and valued? Were your needs met and questions answered? If you have a high-risk medical condition, is the doctor able to treat you accordingly? If you answered ‘yes’ to these questions, it sounds like you’ve found an OB/GYN who is right for you.
If not, there’s no harm in making an appointment with a different gynecologist, obstetrician, or OB/GYN. You should feel comfortable discussing women’s health issues with your doctor.
For more information about how to choose an obstetrician, gynecologist, or OB/GYN, visit UPMC Magee-Women’s Hospital or call 1-866-696-2433.
For more than a century, UPMC Magee-Womens Hospital has provided high-quality medical care to women at all stages of life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health. More than 9,000 babies are born each year at Magee. The hospital also treats men for a variety of conditions, including surgical treatment. The Magee-Womens Research Institute was the first center to focus research only on conditions involving women and their infants.