Obstetricians-gynecologists (ob-gyns) are frequently confronted with situations that have ethical implications (e.g., whether to accept gifts or samples from drug companies or disclosing medical errors to patients). Additionally, various factors, including specific job-related tasks, costs, and benefits, may impact ob-gyns' career satisfaction. Ethical concerns and career satisfaction can play a role in the quality of women's health care. This article summarizes the studies published between 2005 and 2009 by the Research Department of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which encompass ethical concerns regarding interactions with pharmaceutical representatives and patient safety/medical error reporting, as well as ob-gyn career satisfaction. Additionally, a brief discussion regarding ethical concerns in the ob-gyn field, in general, highlights key topics for the last 30 years. Ethical dilemmas continue to be of concern for ob-gyns. Familiarity with guidelines on appropriate interactions with industry is associated with lower percentages of potentially problematic relationships with pharmaceutical industries. Physicians report that the expense of patient safety initiatives is one of the top barriers for improving patient safety, followed by fear of liability. Overall, respondents reported being satisfied with their careers. However, half of the respondents reported that they were extremely concerned about the impact of professional liability costs on the duration of their careers. Increased familiarity with guidelines may lead to a decreased ob-gyn reliance on pharmaceutical representatives and free samples, whereas specific and practical tools may help them implement patient safety techniques. The easing of malpractice insurance and threat of litigation may enhance career satisfaction among ob-gyns. This article will discuss related findings in recent years.
Target Audience: Obstetricians & Gynecologists and Family Physicians
Learning Objectives: After the completing the CME activity, physicians should be better able to analyze how interactions with pharmaceutical industry may pose ethical dilemmas, examine current barriers to implementing patient safety initiatives, and evaluate the factors that influence career satisfaction among obstetrician-gynecologists.