Obstetrics and Gynecology Resident Interest and Participation in Global Health

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate obstetrics and gynecology resident interest and participation in global health experiences and elucidate factors associated with resident expectation for involvement.

METHODS:

A voluntary, anonymous survey was administered to U.S. obstetrics and gynecology residents before the 2015 Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology in-training examination. The 23-item survey gathered demographic data and queried resident interest and participation in global health. Factors associated with resident expectation for participation in global health were analyzed by Pearson χ2 tests.

RESULTS:

Of the 5,005 eligible examinees administered the survey, 4,929 completed at least a portion of the survey for a response rate of 98.5%. Global health was rated as “somewhat important” or “very important” by 96.3% (3,761/3,904) of residents. “Educational opportunity” (69.2%) and “humanitarian effort” (17.7%) were cited as the two most important aspects of a global health experience. Residents with prior global health experience rated the importance of global health more highly and had an increased expectation for future participation. Global health electives were arranged by residency programs for 18.0% (747/4,155) of respondents, by residents themselves as an elective for 44.0% (1,828/4,155), and as a noncredit experience during vacation time for 36.4% (1,514/4,155) of respondents. Female gender, nonpartnered status, no children, prior global health experience, and intention to incorporate global health in future practice were associated with expectations for a global health experience.

CONCLUSION:

Most obstetrics and gynecology residents rate a global health experience as somewhat or very important, and participation before or during residency increases the perceived importance of global health and the likelihood of expectation for future participation. A majority of residents report arranging their own elective or using vacation time to participate, suggesting that residency programs have limited structured opportunities.

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