Labor and Delivery as a Learning Environment: Results From a Survey of Medical Students and Their Instructors

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To evaluate labor and delivery as a learning environment during the third-year medical school obstetrics and gynecology course.


Labor and delivery is a teaching environment for medical students during their third year OB/Gyn rotation. Based on the end-of-year student evaluations of the clerkship, labor and delivery was noted to be an area in need of improvement.


After IRB approval, the validated learning environment survey was sent to all third-year medical students who rotated through the labor and delivery unit at a single university hospital. Surveys were also sent to instructors who worked directly with students on labor and delivery, including OB/Gyn faculty, residents and nurses. De-identified responses were collected through Qualtrics software. Descriptive analyses were performed to identify differences in student and instructor responses.


The overall response rate for the survey was 42% (77/183), with 85% (11/13) of faculty, 63% (10/16) of residents, 40% (38/95) of students and 31% (18/59) of nurses responding. Student and instructor responses were statistically different for 16/39 questions (41%). The section titled “Motivation/learning skills,” which included topics such as “I am eager to learn” and “I come to the clinical session prepared and ready,” contained the most significant difference in responses between students and teachers.


Survey results reveal that students and instructor had different opinions of students' experiences on labor and delivery. The results of this survey will help clerkship leaders identify areas in need of improvement.

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