The ObGyn Clerkship: Are Students Denied the Opportunity to Provide Patient Care and What is the Role of Gender?

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OBJECTIVE: We sought to study the frequency, and reasons that third-year medical students on an ObGyn clerkship are denied the opportunity to be involved in patient care.

METHODS: Students from four hospitals affiliated with the University of Connecticut Medical School completed an anonymous postclerkship survey.

RESULTS: Among the 157 students studied (66 males and 91 females), 51% (n = 80) were denied the opportunity to participate in a gynecologic examination and 47% (n = 73) were denied the opportunity for routine ObGyn care by patients. Among these students, 55% (n = 44) and 38% (n = 28) stated that being male was the reason they were excluded from gynecologic and routine care, respectively. Of the 80 students who were denied involvement in a gynecologic examination, 81% (n = 65) were denied involvement by clinic patients. Of the 44 males who stated they were denied the opportunity to be involved in a gynecologic examination due to their gender, 89% (n = 39) were refused by clinic patients. Compared with female students, male students are statistically more likely to be denied the opportunity to be involved in gynecologic examinations (RR = 1.69 [1.24-2.29]), especially by clinic patients (RR = 2.07 [1.41-3.03]).

CONCLUSION: A significant number of students were denied the opportunity to be involved in ObGyn care experiences. More frequently male students were denied involvement in care, with a higher incidence among clinic patients. We hypothesize that being denied involvement provides a negative perception of the ObGyn specialty, especially to male students, possibly affecting their decision to choose ObGyn training.

PRECIS: A significant number of medical students, particularly males, were denied involvement in patient care, primarily by clinic patients, during the ObGyn clerkships.

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Connecticut medicine





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