An OB-GYN is a physician with specialized training in caring for female reproductive health (gynecology) and women and their babies during pregnancy and childbirth (obstetrics).

You will need to see an OB-GYN every year from puberty until after menopause, so it’s important you find an OB-GYN you can trust. 

What does OB and GYN mean?

We’ve compiled a checklist of information you should consider when choosing an OB-GYN.

Insurance: If you have insurance, start by reviewing which OB-GYNs are in-network. If you are considering having a baby, also be sure the OB-GYN’s delivery hospital is in-network.

Ratings and reviews: Talk with friends, family, and your primary care provider about the providers they recommend. Also, check online reviews and ratings from trusted websites, such as Health Grades. 

“I’ve cared for multiple generations of families. I find being referred to a friend or family member by a patient is the highest compliment. That level of endorsement of my care means everything to me,” said Bret Gordon, DO, Saint Luke’s OB-GYN. 

Experience and special interests: Many OB-GYNs have special training or interest in specific issues or conditions, such as preeclampsia or heavy periods. Online bios are a good resource for ensuring their interests and training align with your health care needs. 

“During medical school and residency training, an OB-GYN might focus on a specific set of conditions or maybe a specific phase of life, such as menopause. As they see more patients in their area of focus, they build expertise in providing that care,” said Sarah Pearl, DO, Saint Luke’s OB-GYN.

Ease of access: It’s important that the physician’s clinic fits your lifestyle and needs. A few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you need an office near public transportation, or do you prefer convenient parking?
  • Do you want to have the option to see your provider virtually? 
  • How do you want to communicate with the office?
    • Online scheduling
    • Patient portal for messaging your provider
    • After-hours phone number

“At Saint Luke’s, we’ve worked hard to understand what goes into a good patient experience. An important part of that experience is having tools that allow patients to interact with our clinics in the matter that fits their lifestyle—online, by phone, or through the mySaintLuke’s patient portal,” said Kristen Wootton, DO, Saint Luke’s OB-GYN.

Personality and communication style: Topics you discuss with your OB-GYN can be sensitive, so it’s important you feel comfortable with your physician. Be sure to look for a physician with a personality and communication style that works well with your own. Also, the relationship between you and your OB-GYN can span many phases of your life. Don’t be afraid to revaluate your choice as your needs change.

“You will see your OB-GYN at least once a year for a large part of your life, so make sure it’s a person you can be open and honest with. That may mean you need to see more than one physician before you find the right one,” said Rebecca Hamel, MD, Saint Luke’s OB-GYN.

Hospital affiliation and capabilities: You may not currently need advanced medical care, but it’s important to think ahead. Choosing an OB-GYN backed by a health system ensures you have state-of-the-art hospitals and a team of specialists ready to care for you. If you are looking for an OB-GYN to help you grow your family, you also need to consider the hospitals where they deliver. Be sure to research NICU levels and capabilities.  

“The Saint Luke’s Women’s Health teams are backed by nationally recognized teams at Saint Luke’s Mid America Heart Institute, Saint Luke’s Marion Bloch Neuroscience Institute, and Saint Luke’s Cancer Institute. For pregnancy care, Saint Luke’s Maternal-Fetal Medicine Specialists are experts in caring for high-risk pregnancies, and our delivery hospitals offer NICUs to care for our tiniest patients,” said Clare Hinchey, DO, Saint Luke’s OB-GYN. 

Ready to find the perfect OB-GYN for you? Find a doctor now.