Finding an Obstetrician

Obstetricians specialize in the field of women’s reproductive health, with regard to the management of pregnancy, labor and birth. OB-GYNs offer a number of services such as prenatal care, labor and birth care, infertility diagnosis and management, menopause management, counselling on contraception, STI treatment and management, annual gynecological and breast examinations and pap tests, among other services relating to women’s reproductive health. OB-GYN’s are highly skilled at handling high risk pregnancies and can perform surgeries such as cesarean births. They are licensed, highly regulated and often, board certified providers. They receive specialized training in order to manage complications such as placenta previa or preeclampsia.  OB-GYN’s usually have access to sophisticated medical technology. While there is a high cost for prenatal care and birth, most health insurance plans cover the fees for prenatal visits and hospital deliveries. 

We encourage you to use our map of Obstetric Providers in Rhode Island, as an additional resource to help you find a best-fit provider for your child.

GO TO MAP

You should start looking as soon as you find out you are pregnant. Popular obstetricians can have fully booked schedules for weeks in advance. Most people book by about 6 weeks of pregnancy, but women with high risk pregnancies should book as early as possible.

 

Most obstetricians complete the requirements listed by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ABOG), which include graduation from medical school and four years of residency training with a focus on obstetrics and gynecology as their specialty. They must also possess state licensure to be able to practice medicine independently. It is strongly encouraged that obstetricians receive board certification from ABOG, which includes a two-day examination that allows them to master their specialty. 

The Hassenfeld Institute provides a comprehensive list and map of obstetricians in Rhode Island.  The map will provide names of providers at the practice, information on the location, and details about the practice. Examples of these details include insurance type they accept, whether they are accepting new patients, languages spoken or translation services etc. We encourage you to use this detailed and easy-to-navigate resource to help select the right obstetrician for you!

You can find our map here: MAP OF obstetric providers 

Alternatively, you can look for recommendations from family, friends, pregnant women and other mothers. You can also call various practices and hospitals in your area and ask them for a list of names of obstetricians who are accepting patients. You may also ask your primary care doctor for recommendations. Once you have found an obstetrician, it is important to verify their credentials. One manner to do this is by searching their name on the American Board of Medical Specialists website.

  1. Your health history and your obstetrician’s experience: If you have any chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, epilepsy etc., it is important to ask the doctor whether they have cared for patients with the same illness. It may be the case that you need to be cared for by a specialist who has dealt with high risk pregnancies. 
  2. Which hospital does the OB-GYNs deliver at?: The hospital in which they have admitting privileges will most likely be the hospital you deliver at. It is also important to inform them about where you would like to give birth- whether it be a hospital, birth center, or home and consider if this is possible.
  3. Which health insurance plans does the practice accept and are the fees covered?: Most health insurance plans cover in hospital fees. You may also ask about arrangements for those services not covered by health insurance. 
  4. What are the chances the OB-GYN will deliver my baby?: This is more likely in smaller practices than a group practices with rotating on call-duty. It may be comforting to ask for the backup plan, in the event the doctor has another commitment or another patient in labor. It would be helpful if they introduced you to the “back-up” OB-GYN’s. 
  5. Who will see me for my checkups? Is after office hour emergency care available? Will the OB-GYN be attending to you at regular checkups or will it be nursing staff?: Pregnancy can be an unpredictable time and it is helpful to know whether you can get immediate assistance in the event of an emergency. 
  6. Is it easy to make an appointment and are the staff friendly?: It may be necessary for you to make early morning or late evening appointments, depending on your work schedule, and you can check in to see if the OB-GYN’s can accommodate these times. It is also helpful if the staff at office are approachable and can answer questions. 
  7. Doctor’s philosophy: There are various issues for which it would be beneficial if your doctors’s outlook matches your own. Some instances of this include your OB-GYN’s attitude towards episiotomies, natural childbirth, the presence of a doula, continuous electronic fetal monitoring, routine use of IVs, water births, c-sections and more. It is beneficial to be on the same page about such issues in orer to allow for collaborative decision making through this process. Learn more at: https://www.acog.org
  8. Personal preferences and compatibility with OB-GYN: Being pregnant and giving birth is an incredibly personal and special process. You may have certain preferences regarding the doctor’s gender, age and other such factors that affect your comfort level, that you can look into before scheduling a first visit. After scheduling your first visit with an OB-GYN who meets these preferences, you can consider various factors before deciding to move on with their service. You may consider whether you felt comfortable with the OB-GYN, whether the appointment felt rushed, how the attitude of the staff and OB-GYN was, whether they were open to questions, the waiting time and other such compatibility factors. If you are unhappy with the OB-GYN, it is important to choose another practitioner sooner rather than later, so that you have time to build a relationship with them.

We encourage you to use our map of Obstetric Providers in Rhode Island, as an additional resource to help you find a best-fit provider for your child. Enable your location to identify practices near you. Click on the location pins to get an information bubble that gives you specific practice details such as address, providers and more. Click on “Find a Provider” button on the upper right corner, to customize your language and insurance preferences, as well as find out which practices are accepting new patients.

map of obstetric providers

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