Share this article on:

Trends in the Academic Workforce of Obstetrics and Gynecology

Rayburn, William F. MD, MBA; Anderson, Britta L. BA; Johnson, Julia V. MD; McReynolds, Megan A. BS; Schulkin, Jay PhD

doi: 10.1097/AOG.0b013e3181c3f513
Original Research

OBJECTIVE: The objective was to report results from the seventh survey that monitored trends in numbers of full-time department faculty and from a first survey on the current and anticipated numbers of part-time faculty.

METHODS: A faculty workforce survey, drafted in the same format as the prior published questionnaire, was sent electronically to chairs of obstetrics and gynecology at all 125 U.S. medical schools. Each chair was asked to provide the number of current full-time and part-time (0.5–0.9 full-time equivalent) faculty in each specialty and the projected department size in 5 years. When accuracy of data were questioned, we reviewed the department’s Web site and directly communicated with the chair.

RESULTS: The mean number of full-time faculty per department increased from 25 in 1994 to 29 in 2008 (95% confidence interval 25–33). Most departments (84.0%) had part-time faculty, which constituted 21.2% of the total faculty. Growth was only substantial in the number of medical faculty. In 2008, half (50.1%) of all faculty were women. Private schools and research-oriented departments had the largest faculty sizes. Two-thirds of all chairs anticipated that the number of faculty will increase, especially for part-time faculty and entry-level assistant professors as generalists or maternal–fetal medicine specialists.

CONCLUSION: Continued growth in department sizes was accompanied by considerably more women and more part-time faculty. The numbers of full-time and part-time faculty are anticipated to increase.


Continued growth in department sizes is accompanied by considerably more women and more part-time faculty.

From the Council of University Chairs of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Research Department, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Washington, DC.

Supported by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; Medical Applications of Research, National Institutes of Health; and grant R60 MC 05674 from the Maternal and Child Health Bureau, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC.

Corresponding author: William F. Rayburn, MD, MBA, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, MSC 10 5580, 1 University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131; e-mail:

Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.

© 2010 by The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.