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Letters of Recommendation for OBGYN residency: Are there \'routine\' practices?
Purpose: This study aims to understand whether individuals who
write obstetric and gynecologic (OBGYN) letters of recommendation
(LOR) use routine practices described by other specialties
Background: LOR for OBGYN residency are a critical part of
the application process. However, data regarding routine practices for how to
write OBGYN LOR are lacking.
Methods: We used literature about routine practices in LOR
writing from other specialties to develop an e-survey. After IRB approval, the
survey was sent to 5 OBGYN departments (Duke, New Mexico, Dartmouth, ECU,
Charlotte) from 3/22-5/22. Our primary outcome was the proportion of
respondents that used each LOR-writing routine practice.
Results: Of 189 faculty sent the survey, 135 (71%) responded.
Sixty-seven (50%) wrote OBGYN LOR annually. Letter writers were more likely to
identify as subspecialists (61% vs 35%, p=0.003), but did not differ in gender,
duration of practice, or formal education role. Most writers describe their
role with residents (84%), include highlights from applicants’curricula
vitae (67%) and write only one page (67%). Few (21%) use bold/italics and
none use bias-checking software. Preferences for the last sentence varied: 73%
use superlatives, 46% describe a desire to keep the applicant, and 28% use
percentage rank. None of these practices differed by gender or LOR-writing
training. Use of percentage rank was used less often by those with < 15
years in practice (69% vs 16%, p< 0.01).
Discussions: Though routine practices exist in other specialties,
LOR-writing practices among OBGYNs vary widely. To ensure equity in LORs for
OBGYN applicants, routine practices in LOR-writing must be identified and
CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2023, Student, Resident, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, Interpersonal & Communication Skills, Practice-Based Learning & Improvement, GME, CME, UME, Assessment, General Ob-Gyn,