Choosing the Right Gynecologist FAQ

Are you looking for more information about choosing the right gynecologist?

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As specialists in gynecology, the providers at The Woman’s Health Pavilion understand the value of educating patients. On this page, they have provided answers to common questions they are asked about choosing a gynecologist by women who visit from Long Island, Queens, and Brooklyn.

To visit one of our multiple gynecology offices on Long Island or Queens, call us today or request an appointment. We see patients 7 days a week and offer same-day appointments for urgent conditions.

What is a gynecologist?

Before you choose the right gynecologist, it is important to know why you need one. This type of doctor has specialized training in the female reproductive anatomy including the uterus, ovaries, vagina, cervix, and breasts. In addition, gynecologists often care for the female urinary system and attend to certain bowel problems.

What’s the difference between a gynecologist and an OB/GYN?

Doctors who specialize in women’s health are trained in obstetrics and gynecology are called OB/GYNs. Obstetrics (the “OB” in “OB/GYN”) refers to the care of women throughout pregnancy and during delivery. Gynecology refers to the care of women when they are not pregnant. Some practitioners choose to limit the scope of their practice to gynecology, while others practice both obstetrics and gynecology.

All OB/GYNs have specialized training in both areas, which requires an undergraduate degree, an additional four years of medical school, and four years of residency training in obstetrics and gynecology after completion of medical school.

What does it mean to be Board-certified as an OB/GYN?

The American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABO+G) certifies OB/GYNs. This certification requires a medical degree from a recognized institution, completion of an accredited residency program, a current medical license, and successful completion of several rigorous exams. Once a physician is Board-certified in any specialty, they must maintain their certification by re-examination or completion of other requirements at regular intervals. This ensures that physicians stay up to date with new medical knowledge, techniques, and technology.

What does FACOG mean?

“FACOG” stands for “Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.” In order to earn this distinction, a physician must first earn Board-certification and then meet additional criteria that demonstrate the doctor keeps abreast of the latest medical guidelines, treatments, and techniques in women’s health care.

Will I be receiving the same quality of care if I see a nurse practitioner or a physician assistant instead of a gynecologist?

Yes. Certified nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) are held to the same standards of care expected from gynecologists. These support staff members fill a valuable role in OB/GYN practices by allowing patients to receive quality medical care in a timely manner. At The Woman’s Health Pavilion, one of our OB/GYN physicians is always available for consultation if needed by an NP or PA.

Should I choose a male or female gynecologist?

There are excellent gynecologists of both genders. Choosing the right one for you really depends on personal preference. Do you feel comfortable sharing personal information with both men and women? How do you feel about having physical exams performed by either gender? It’s absolutely acceptable to schedule a consultation for your first appointment and hold off on the physical exam until you see how you feel about the doctor. You can expect to have a female staff member in the exam room during any physical examination, especially when being evaluated by a male gynecologist.

Is a gynecologist’s personality important?

Yes. While it is essential to choose a qualified gynecologist, it’s equally important to choose one who you feel comfortable with. You will need to openly share intimate details about your body, your lifestyle, and your concerns to ensure proper care. Choosing a doctor who makes you feel comfortable, actively listens, and tries to understand your concerns makes it more likely that you will be open and honest. Open communication is an essential part of a successful therapeutic relationship. If you do not feel comfortable talking openly with your gynecologist, you should find another one.

Is it good to review websites such as Healthgrades, Vitals, RateMDs?

These websites allow patients to write anonymous reviews of their experiences with a practice. This information can be helpful input when there are multiple reviews and the practice does not pay to be listed on the site. If there are only a few reviews for a physician or practice, realize that you might not be receiving an unbiased picture of what it is like to be his/her patient. Remember also that some patients with “an ax to grind” will find their outlet in online reviews: Many very satisfied patients do not feel moved to write a review, while a few bitter patients can be very vocal online.