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. UPMC Magee is long renowned for its services to women and babies, but also offers a wide range of care to men as well. Nearly 10,000 babies are born each year at Magee, and the hospital’s NICU is one of the largest in the country. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognizes Magee as a National Center of Excellence in Women’s Health, and the Magee-Womens Research Institute is the largest research institute in the U.S. devoted exclusively to women’s health and reproductive biology.