Gynecologist vs. OBGYN: What Are the Differences?


Getting in touch with the right provider for your reproductive health care shouldn’t be difficult. But the health care industry still has a way to go toward destigmatizing the work they do. And a lot of patients still have trouble talking about sexual or reproductive care.

If you’re considering starting a family or have other medical concerns about the female reproductive system, it might be time to schedule a doctor’s appointment. Should you visit an OBGYN or gynecologist?

Here’s a closer look at the gynecologist vs. OBGYN debate.

Where Each Doctor Works 

There is some overlap between the two fields.

Gynecologists typically work in outpatient clinics or private practices. On the other hand, OBGYNs more often work in hospitals. However, some may also work in private practices.

Education and Training

Education and training play a significant role in the difference between a gynecologist and an OBGYN. Gynecologists are educated and trained in the health of the female reproductive system, while OBGYNs are trained in both the female reproductive system and obstetrics (the care of pregnant women).

In general, gynecologists will complete four years of undergraduate school, four years of medical school, and four years of residency training. OBGYNs will complete the same four years of undergraduate and medical school, but their residency will be three years of specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology.

Because of this, gynecologists can often provide more comprehensive care for their patients.


Both doctors are trained in women’s health but have different areas of specialization. If you’re pregnant or considering pregnancy, you may wonder if you need to see an OBGYN or a gynecologist.

What is a gynecologist? A gynecologist is a doctor who focuses on the health of the female reproductive system. They are often more focused on preventative care and may also provide specialized care for conditions such as cancer or sexually transmitted infections.

An OBGYN is a doctor who specializes in obstetrics and gynecology. An obstetrician is a doctor who specializes in pregnant women and their babies. So, if you’re pregnant, you’ll need to see an OBGYN.

If you’re not pregnant and need a simple checkup, you can see either an OBGYN or a gynecologist. If you need to visit a gynecologist, consider booking with a top gynecologist, Dr. Lisa M. Jukes.

Which Should I See? Gynecologist vs. OBGYN

If you’re generally healthy and have simple questions or concerns about your reproductive health, visit a gynecologist. If you’re pregnant or are experiencing problems with your reproductive system, see an OBGYN.

The best way to decide which type of doctor is right for you is to speak with each specialist and make an informed decision based on your specific needs. Ultimately, which you should see—gynecologist vs. OBGYN—is the doctor you feel most comfortable with and who can best meet your needs.

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