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Difference Between Midwife and OB/GYN

Midwife vs OB/GYN

If you want to take a serious route towards the medical field, particularly in women’s health, then you may stumble upon the dilemma of choosing between being an OB/GYN and a midwife. In general, both professionals have similar responsibilities whose tasks may even overlap at times. However, frankly speaking, becoming either of the two requires you to traverse different educational paths.

A midwife is best likened to a nurse while an OB/GYN is a doctor. The midwife is in charge of overlooking the general well-being of expectant mothers as well as providing care all throughout the stages of pregnancy towards delivery and even up to the postpartum (afterbirth) stage. Midwives can do simple prenatal care procedures and also refer sensitive cases to the more knowledgeable OB/GYN. As such, the OB/GYN is a trained doctor who can diagnose and treat female reproductive health illnesses. Like midwives, they can also do some prenatal and postpartum care to women who just gave birth.

Midwives can be trained by programs duly accredited by the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council. This training enables the midwife-to-be with the necessary clinical skills and theoretical background needed for them to care for women during the different stages of motherhood. There are certification programs (the quickest), Bachelor’s degrees and even Master’s degrees (the longest course to take) offered for aspiring midwives. On the contrary, the OB/GYN finishes a four-year residency program on top of the basic undergraduate and medical degrees. The OB/GYN can still further her theoretical reach by enrolling in additional subspecialty programs like fetal medicine and reproductive endocrinology. These specialty courses usually take another year or more.

For both the midwife and OB/GYN to start practicing their crafts, they first need to get certified. Midwives do this by completing medical scrubs (newborn exams, postpartum exams, prenatal exams, and attending to 20 births – the least!) and also passing an examination. OB-GYNs get certified only when they successfully pass both an oral and a written exam. There are even more tests waiting for those who wish to get certified for subspecialty courses.
In terms of continuing education, both professionals need to get certified again after a period of time. So they may be required to pass another set of exams and attend at least 30 hours of education to renew their certifications.


1.An OB/GYN is a doctor unlike a midwife.
2.An OB/GYN can diagnose and treat female reproductive illnesses unlike the midwife.
3.An OB/GYN usually needs more education and training compared to the midwife.
4.An OB/GYN obviously gets a higher salary than the midwife.

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