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Finding a soft landing: An analysis of medical student questions to guide next steps in student advising

Objective: It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. The pandemic of 2020 required a transition to the virtual environment for many events - including ACOG’s national medical student programs. Through multiple live webinars, we transitioned the tradition in person events to innovative virtual conversations to offer career guidance. Over 1000 medical students submitted written questions about choosing OBGYN as a specialty and selecting an OBGYN residency to help guide the discussion. An analysis of the formally submitted questions provides insight into the topics students are most curious about, providing scaffolding for additional virtual strategies to support students as they embark on the journey in choosing their career path.


Methods: Analysis of questions submitted by medical students before and during 2 live webinars for ACOG\'s medical student programming: the John G. Gibbons, Jr, MD Lecture: OBGYN as a Career (4/21/2021) and How to Successfully Navigate Selecting a Residency (8/6/2021). Questions were analyzed and divided into general themes and then ranked.


Results: Analysis of Gibbons lecture revealed 22 distinct themes with  the top 3 themes to be: Advice on Improving Residency Application (15%), Advice on Selecting a Residency (11%) and International Medical Student (IMG)  concerns (11%). For the Selecting a Residency webinar, there were 23 distinct themes ( mirroring those from Gibbons) and then 3 top themes were International Student concerns (11%), Advice on Improving Residency Application (10%) and Questions about Fellowships and Subspecialty choices (9%).


Conclusion/ Discussion: Despite the Covid pandemic, the ACOG sponsored medical student webinars were well attended and over 300 questions were submitted to panelists. Medical students continue to have questions and to seek advice and advising about the specialty of OBGYN and about the residency application process. While there is a consistency of student concerns between the 2 webinars, analysis shows that there are knowledge deficits about specific areas or topics within our specialty among  students who attended these webinars and OBGYN educators can use this knowledge to tailor career advising to medical students who wish to or are pursuing careers in OBGYN.


Topics: Faculty Development Seminar, 2022, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Residency Director, Professionalism, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, GME, UME, Assessment, Lecture, Team-Based Learning,

General Information

Faculty,Clerkship Director,Residency Director,
Professionalism,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,Interpersonal & Communication Skills,
Assessment,Lecture,Team-Based Learning,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

Jonathan Emery, MD; Laura Mercer, MD, MBA; Shefali Pathy, MD, MOH

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