Leadership Aspirations Among OB/GYN Residents in the United States

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Abstract

PURPOSE:

To assess the role of gender and mentorship in identifying leadership as a career goal among residents in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) in the United States (US).

BACKGROUND:

Within the field of OB/GYN in the US, women are underrepresented in leadership positions despite representing the majority of physicians. We hypothesized that women do not identify leadership as a career goal as often as men do while in OB/GYN training and examined other associated factors.

METHODS:

We evaluated US OB/GYN resident goals via an IRB-approved survey emailed to the US OB/GYN Residency Program Coordinator listserv. Data were collected in REDCap. Cross-sectional descriptive and comparative analyses were completed.

RESULTS:

A total of 198 US OB/GYN residents completed the survey, including 170 women (86%) and 28 men (14%). The majority of respondents were from university programs (70%). Two-thirds of respondents reported an interest in pursuing a leadership position (n=133, 67%). Women were less likely to identify leadership as a goal compared to men (64% vs. 86%, P=.024). OB/GYN residents who reported receiving specific mentorship about leadership were more likely to report interest (81% vs. 53%, P<.001). Finally, women in programs in which three or more leadership positions were held by women were more likely to report interest in such roles themselves (76% vs. 60%, P=.047).

DISCUSSION:

Gender disparity among leadership is identifiable in goal-setting as early as residency training in OB/GYN. We recommend addressing this gap with specific mentorship and leadership-development curricula within OB/GYN residencies.

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