A gynceologist is a physician (medical doctor) who specializes in gynecology, which is the science that deals with the health care of women, including diseases and normal physical care of the female reproductive system. Gynecology also involves the study of female sexual functioning, as well as functioning of the reproductive system and of the secretions (substances released) from hormones in the female body. Hormones are types of chemicals in the body that affect other cells.
Gynecologist is commonly abbreviated as GYN. Since gynecology is almost always studied and practiced along with obstetrics (see obstetrician), these two fields of study are commonly abbreviated as OB/GYN. Obstetrics is the science that deals with the care of women and their fetuses during pregnancy and childbirth, and during the events that come before and soon after birth. Most women often refer to their gynecologist as their OB/GYN.
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Any gynecologist can apply to the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, to become board certified. The gynecologist that is board certified has been agreed upon by a board (group) of peers (other gynecologists) to meet the rigorous standards necessary to practice obstetrics, and has achieved the highest level of education possible in this field. Gynecologist comes from the Greek word "gyne" meaning "woman," and the Greek word "logos" meaning "the study of." Put the two words together and you have "the study of woman."