Home > Abstract Details > The Effect of Student Gender on the Third Year Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Clerkship

« Back to Search

The Effect of Student Gender on the Third Year Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Clerkship

Jenifer Briscoe, MD

Pamela Promecene

Background: Studies have evaluated gender discrimination in medical education. Gender discrimination is felt predominately by females; however this is not true for obstetrics and gynecology. In 2004, Emmons et al found that 78% of male students felt their gender negatively impacted their clinical experience, and students who perceived a negative bias performed fewer clinical skills and felt less confident counseling patients. Our study was to determine if medical students at our institution perceived a gender bias during the OB/Gyn clerkship. We also examined if a gender bias exists in student confidence and participation and if there was a gender difference in grade distribution.

Methods: After IRB approval, an anonymous survey was sent to all third year students who had completed their obstetrics and gynecology clerkship in the 2011-2012 year. Students reported their gender and whether they felt their gender had an effect on their OB/Gyn rotation. Students were given a list of clinical problems (vaginitis, urinary tract infection, secondary amenorrhea, preeclampsia), and asked to rate their ability to begin a workup. Students were also asked to rate their comfort level with patient counseling on clinical situations (contraception, pap screening, breast cancer screening, labor precautions). A 5-point Likert scale was used where 1= very uncomfortable and 5= very comfortable. Students were asked to estimate the number of times they performed common clinical tasks (speculum exam, breast exam, participating in a vaginal delivery, or performing a vaginal delivery).

Results were evaluated using Student’s T test. Student grades from the rotation were broken
down by rotation evaluations, NBME shelf exam grades and overall grades. Each category was evaluated with student’s T tests. Results: 171 students, 98 responded (57.3% response rate; 62% male, 38% female). Nearly half of all students felt that their clerkship was gender-neutral (Table 1). There was no difference in clinical mastery of problems (Table 2) or with comfort in counseling (Table 3). Table 1: Perceived gender bias? male 27 (44%) female 19 (51%) Table 2: Clinical problems Male Female P Vaginitis 4.3 4.51 NS UTI 4.18 4.40 NS Secondary amenorrhea 3.78 4.05 NS Preeclampsia 4.07 3.97 NS Table 3: Counseling Male Female P Contraception 4.47 4.36 NS Pap screening 4.03 4.36 NS Breast cancer screening 4.00 3.84 NS Labor precautions 4.5 4.61 NS Females performed more speculum exams (P<0.01). There was no difference in other tasks. There was no difference in evaluations, NBME grades and final grades.

Discussion: With the decrease in men choosing obstetrics and gynecology, and the decrease in interest in the field overall, it is important to encourage interested medical students while on the OB/Gyn clerkship regardless of their gender.

Topics: CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting, 2013, Student, Faculty, Clerkship Director, Clerkship Coordinator, Osteopathic Faculty, Patient Care, Professionalism, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement, UME, Contraception or Family Planning, Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, General Ob-Gyn, Sexuality,

General Information

Date Presented
2013 CREOG & APGO Annual Meeting
Poster Abstract

Personal Characteristics/Attitudes, Professionalism, Admissions & Selection, Career Choice, Healthcare Systems, Healthcare Workforce, Student Affairs, Counseling (Personal or Academic), Student Mistreatment, Leadership & Organizational Development, Mentoring, Evaluation of Clinical Performance, Minority Recruitment, Faculty Development 

Intended Audience
Patient Care, Professionalism, Systems-Based Practice & Improvement

Competencies Addressed
Interpersonal & Communication Skills

Educational Continuum

Clincal Focus
Contraception or Family Planning, Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology, Maternal-Fetal Medicine, General Ob-Gyn, Sexuality

Student,Faculty,Clerkship Director,Clerkship Coordinator,Osteopathic Faculty,
Patient Care,Professionalism,Systems-Based Practice & Improvement,
Clinical Focus
Contraception or Family Planning,Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology,Maternal-Fetal Medicine,General Ob-Gyn,Sexuality,

Author Information

Primary Author
Jenifer Briscoe, MD
University of Texas Health, Houston Medical School, Houston, TX

Pamela Promecene

Additional Materials

Related Abstracts

Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics

2130 Priest Bridge Drive, Suite 7, Crofton, MD 21114


APGO logo

Follow Us

Association of Professors of
Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO)