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The Value of Scenic Detours: Away Rotations for MS4s

Purpose: To describe characteristics of participation in away rotations of fourth-year medical students (MS4s) matching to OB/GYN residencies.


Background: Students applying to OB/GYN residencies may choose to perform an away rotation at another institution. Little is known about what motivates students to participate or to not participate.


Methods: MS4s enrolling in a post-match residency preparatory curriculum in Spring 2022 were asked to complete a pre-curriculum survey, which included questions about whether they participated in an away rotation, their motivations for doing so, and costs or barriers to participation. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.


Results: 922 MS4s completed the survey. 466 (50.5%) reported that they participated in an away rotation. 161/466 (34.5%) completed two or more away rotations. 330/466 (70.8%) noted their primary reason to do an away rotation was to indicate interest in a particular program or geographic location. The cost of an away rotation averaged $1,842 (SD$2,176). The most commonly cited reason to not participate in an away rotation were that students did not feel it was necessary for their application (202/456, 44.3%), followed by non-financial obligations preventing participation (131/456, 28.7%).


Discussions: In a large survey of MS4s entering OB/GYN residencies, 50% participated in away rotations with a primary motivation to signal geographic or program interest, and an average cost of $1,842. These findings may assist leaders in understanding preference signaling as an equity intervention in future application cycles, given the sizable number of students who cannot participate in away rotations.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2023, Student, Resident, Clerkship Director, Osteopathic Faculty, Residency Director, Medical Knowledge, GME, UME,

General Information

Student,Resident,Clerkship Director,Osteopathic Faculty,Residency Director,
Medical Knowledge,
Clinical Focus

Author Information

R. Nicholas Burns, MD, FACOG; University of Washington; Fei Cai, MD; Elizabeth Southworth, MD; Sarah Santiago, MD; Emily Fay, MD; Alyssa Stephenson-Famy, MD

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