Summary of occupation
Gynaecologists diagnose and treat disorders of the female reproductive system. They manage problems including gynaecological malignancies, sexually transmitted diseases, infertility, sexual dysfunction and menopause.
Gynaecology is strongly linked with obstetrics - health of mother and fetus before, during and after pregnancy.
The number of gynaecologists practising in Western Australia is relatively small and most are located within the metropolitan area.
Gynaecologists are referred patients from general practitioners. Their work may occur in a number of different settings including outpatient clinics, inpatient wards and operating theatres.
Gynaecologists tend to have their own practice leading to fairly predictable work hours.
On average, gynaecologists can expect to earn between $2 884 and $7 692 per week ($150 000 and $400 000 per year) depending on the organisation that they work for and their level of experience. As a gynaecologist develops their skills, their earning potential will generally increase.
The main tools gynaecologists use in diagnosis are clinical history and examination. Gynaecological examination uses instrumentation such as the speculum. Ultrasound can be used to confirm abnormalities.
To become a gynaecologist, you must first become a qualified medical practitioner and then specialise in gynaecology.
In Western Australia, postgraduate courses in medicine are offered by the University of Notre Dame and the University of Western Australia. These degrees usually take four years to complete. Entry requirements include completion of a bachelor degree in any discipline. You must also sit the Graduate Australian Medical Schools Admissions Test and attend an interview at your chosen institution. Contact the universities you are interested in for more information.
On completion of the postgraduate medical degree, you must work in the public hospital system for two years (internship and residency). To specialise in gynaecology, doctors can apply to the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists to undertake further training and ultimately receive fellowship.
Apprenticeships and traineeships
As an apprentice or trainee, you enter into a formal training contract with an employer. You spend most of your time working and learning practical skills on the job and you spend some time undertaking structured training with a registered training provider of your choice. They will assess your skills and when you are competent in all areas, you will be awarded a nationally recognised qualification.
If you are still at school you can access an apprenticeship through your school. You generally start your school based apprenticeship by attending school three days a week, spending one day at a registered training organisation and one day at work. Talk to your school's VET Co-ordinator to start your training now through VET in Schools. If you get a full-time apprenticeship you can apply to leave school before reaching the school leaving age.
If you are no longer at school you can apply for an apprenticeship or traineeship and get paid while you learn and work.
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If you think you already have some of the skills or competencies, obtained either through non-formal or informal learning, you may be able to gain credit through recognition of prior learning.