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Gender in OB-GYN Residency: An Analysis of Factors Impacting Program Diversity

Purpose: To investigate if geographic region, gender mix of previous classes and program leadership impact the gender composition of residency programs. 

Background: Women comprised only 7.1% of all Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB-GYN) providers in 1970, and held 58.7% of OB-GYN positions in 2017.

Methods: 56 of the top OB-GYN residencies as ranked by Doximity.com and US News & World Report were identified and grouped by geographic region. Demographic information for residents (n = 1732) and program/departmental leadership (n = 112) were compiled. Individuals’ gender was identified using online photos and biographical descriptors. The male-to-female ratio (MFR) of the 2018 intern class, of existing residency classes, program directors and departmental chairs were calculated and compared. Two-way ANOVA and Tukey’s multiple comparison tests were used (significance = p<0.05).

Results: A majority of trainees in OB-GYN programs are women (62.5-94%.) The MFR varied significantly based on geographic region; southern programs had the highest MFR (Figure 1). Programs with male chairs compared to those with female chairs recruited more male interns (14.2% vs. 8.9%, p < 0.001). Programs with > 20% male residents (PGY 2,3,4) had a higher MFR in the incoming intern class compared to programs with < 20% (15.4% vs. 11.4%, p = 0.020).

Discussions: Men are a minority in OB-GYN training. Gender composition of residency programs is influenced by the gender of leadership, geographic region, and of prior classes.  Programs must balance empowerment of women with a culture of inclusion and support of qualified male candidates to ensure strength gained through diversity.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2019, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Residency Coordinator, Professionalism, GME, UME, Advocacy, Sexuality,

General Information

Student,Resident,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,Residency Coordinator,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Michelle Suh, BS, Baylor College of Medicine; Rowland Pettit, BS; Karin Fox, MD MEd

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