The steps you will have to take to become a prenatal doctor typically include many years of schooling. Though the requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction, many jurisdictions require aspiring prenatal doctors to complete high school or earn an equivalency diploma, attend college and medical school, and obtain hands-on training through a residency program. Some aspiring prenatal doctors also spend a couple of years in a fellowship, which is a type of paid specialty training.
Often, people think of college as the beginning of training to become a prenatal doctor. The reality is, however, that an aspiring prenatal doctor often begins preparing for this career in high school. In order to gain admission to the college of your choice, for example, you may take academic classes that help you build a foundation of knowledge useful for your college career. All of your classes may prove important, but taking science classes such as chemistry, biology, and physics may prove particularly helpful. In lieu of graduating from high school, you may also take a diploma equivalency test to gain admission to college.
When you enroll in college, you usually won’t have to choose a specific major to prepare for medical school. Most medical schools will accept applicants from just about any major. You may prefer to choose a science-based major, however, such as biology, chemistry, microbiology, or pre-medicine. No matter what you choose as your major, it is typically important to get good grades in all of your classes. Medical school admissions officers may consider your grades, recommendation letters, interests and hobbies as well as the results of pre-admission testing in deciding whether or not you are a good candidate.
You will typically have to spend about four years in medical school preparing to become a prenatal doctor. The first half of your preparation will likely focus on classroom education while the second half typically includes hands-on work in a clinical setting and related classroom education. While in medical school, you may also take some of the examinations required for becoming a licensed physician.
After medical school, you will typically have to complete more training to become a prenatal doctor. In most cases, you will complete a residency in obstetrics in preparation for this career. You will typically have to pass a licensing exam during your residency to gain the right to practice as a physician. You may also participate in a type of paid specialty training called a fellowship after your residency ends.