In Australia, all obstetricians undergo the same basic training and receive the letters after their name. However, after basic training, obstetricians may obtain additional qualifications or focus on a particular area of interest.
This means that obstetricians may have different areas of expertise. It's worth checking to see if an obstetrician has additional experience relevant to your situation.
Keep an eye on:
Sub-specialist qualifications: these are OB-GYNs who have completed an additional 2-3 years of training and have been officially certified as experts in their field. There are 4 recognized subspecialties:
Maternal and fetal medicine (high-risk obstetrics)
Obstetrical and gynecological ultrasound
Gynecological oncology (cancers)
Urogynecology (pelvic floor problems and incontinence)
Other qualifications: if a physician lists a diploma or master's degree, he or she has completed a recognized course in his or her field of interest.
"Fellowship," "specializes in," or "is interested in..."
These phrases can be difficult to interpret because they cover many different scenarios and levels of experience. In general, this indicates that the physician has some additional experience, but not as much as a subspecialist in the same field.
Physicians who are active in research are usually extremely knowledgeable about their chosen topics. Look for a list of scientific articles they have published, or check the letters after their name for academic qualifications such as MD or PhD.
Contact your top 3 obstetrician rooms
Online research should help you narrow the list down to your top three doctors. Take those names and call or email their rooms. Questions to ask at this point include:
Does the doctor still accept patients with my due date?
In which hospitals does this doctor deliver?
Does she have any reserved time off until my due date?
What are the costs of pregnancy and childbirth care?
Talking to the doctor's reception team will also give you an idea of how friendly and helpful they are - this is actually quite important! Your doctor sets the tone for the office, so if his or her staff is welcoming and efficient, chances are they will be too. You'll also rely on the office team to answer questions from administrators, arrange appointments and help you navigate the hospital system.
Make your choice
Now that you have done your research, compare your Top 3 to your original list of important qualities. You should now have an idea of which physician best meets your needs such as treatment of infertility . Contact the medical office of your choice and book your first visit. You should do this as soon as possible, so you don't miss anything.
If you're still not sure, go ahead and make an appointment for a first visit with a few obstetricians. There is no problem (other than cost) with keeping an appointment and making your final decision. Sometimes you need to meet an OBGYN in person before you know if he or she will be a good fit for your personality and style. A good obstetrician understands this.
So here's how to choose the best obstetrician for you - it's not so daunting after all!