obstetrician or nurse midwife?

i want to pursue a career dealing with infants, births, and pregnancies.
i was wondering which career would be better?
can anyone explain EXACTLY what an obstetrician does? and what a nurse midwife does?
how much schooling do you need for both?
how much does each pay?
which one is harder to become?
but most importantly, what does each do exactly?
as much detail as possible would be extremely helpful!
thanks!

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Comments

  1. An obstetrician (who is also a gynecologist) is a medical doctor. You need to take 4 years of pre-med classes in college, and then 4 years of medical school, then a year of internship, then I think around 3 years of residency, till you’re a full-fledged obstetrician. You are affiliated with a hospital and you treat gynecologic problems and you also deliver babies. Obstetrics is getting to be a non-popular field with doctors because you can be woken any time of the night to come into the hospital to deliver a baby. You don’t spend much time with the patient when the baby is being delivered–you come in only at the end, just before the baby comes. So you spend less time with the mother and baby. Pay is good– $150,000 or so per year, though you’ll be in a lot of debt when you leave school.

    Being a midwife allows you to spend a lot more time with the pregnant woman and the baby. Training is much shorter, but focused on birth not on general medicine, unlike studying to be a doctor, which involves years of focus on general medicine and science. I’m not sure what the pay is. I think a lot of midwives are also nurses. So you could be a nurse-midwife. that’s a lot easier and shorter and cheaper than becoming a doctor, and it allows you more time of doing what you want to be doing–birthing babies.