How Long Does It Take to Become an OB/GYN?

Becoming an OB/GYN is a rewarding and challenging career that requires a significant amount of dedication and education. OB/GYNs, or obstetricians and gynecologists, specialize in women’s health and are responsible for providing a wide range of medical care to their patients. If you’re considering pursuing a career in this field, you may be wondering how long it takes to become an OB/GYN. In this article, we’ll break down the education and training required to become an OB/GYN and give you an idea of the timeline involved.

Education Requirements

To become an OB/GYN, you’ll need to complete a rigorous education program that includes undergraduate and medical school coursework, residency training, and possibly a fellowship. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:

Step 1: Obtain a Bachelor’s Degree

The first step to becoming an OB/GYN is to obtain a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While you can major in any subject, you’ll need to take certain science and math courses to prepare for medical school. These courses may include biology, chemistry, physics, and calculus.

Step 2: Attend Medical School

After completing your bachelor’s degree, you’ll need to attend medical school to obtain a Doctor of Medicine (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO) degree. Medical school typically takes four years to complete and includes coursework in anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, and medical ethics. You’ll also complete clinical rotations to gain hands-on experience in various medical specialties.

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Step 3: Complete a Residency Program

After graduating from medical school, you’ll need to complete a residency program in obstetrics and gynecology. Residency programs typically last four years and provide intensive training in all aspects of women’s health, including prenatal care, labor and delivery, gynecological exams, and surgery. During your residency, you’ll work under the supervision of experienced OB/GYNs and gain practical experience in diagnosing and treating a variety of medical conditions.

Step 4: Consider a Fellowship

If you want to specialize in a particular area of OB/GYN, such as reproductive endocrinology or maternal-fetal medicine, you may need to complete a fellowship after your residency. Fellowships typically last two to three years and provide additional training in a specific area of expertise.

Timeline for Becoming an OB/GYN

Now that you know the education requirements to become an OB/GYN, let’s take a look at the timeline involved. Here’s a breakdown of the approximate time it takes to become an OB/GYN:

  • Bachelor’s degree: 4 years
  • Medical school: 4 years
  • Residency program: 4 years
  • Fellowship (optional): 2-3 years

As you can see, becoming an OB/GYN requires a significant amount of time and dedication. It typically takes around 12 years of education and training to become fully qualified in this field.


Becoming an OB/GYN is a challenging but rewarding career that requires a significant amount of education and training. If you’re interested in pursuing a career in this field, you’ll need to obtain a bachelor’s degree, attend medical school, complete a residency program, and possibly a fellowship. While it takes a significant amount of time and dedication to become an OB/GYN, the rewards of helping women achieve optimal health and wellness are well worth it.

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