Gender and generational value shifts have resulted in vast workforce changes in obstetrics, with some obstetricians returning to training after a time gap. We aim to characterize recent MFM trainees and fellowship graduates, focusing on the delayed decision to return for fellowship training.
An electronic survey was sent to fellowship programs and their departments.
There were 71/267 (27%) respondents who delayed fellowship training. Generation X (born 1965-80) had a significantly greater proportion of obstetricians who delayed training (49/71; 69%) compared to the total study group (76/196; 39%, P<0.001). Of those who delayed fellowship, 39% (n=28) were prior community practitioners, 31% (n=22) were university-based practitioners, 18% (n=13) had military/loan repayment obligations, and others were involved in administration/research. Explanations for the delay included family (n=20; 28%), initial lack of interest (n=16; 21%), and military service (n=13; 18%). There were 21 (30%) respondents who returned to training without citing personal difficulties. However, 50 (70%) of the delayed trainees cited the following challenges in returning to training: less autonomy (n=32; 64%), financial constraints of a trainee's salary (n=29; 58%), and family obligations (n=21; 42%). No respondents regretted returning to fellowship training.
MFM trainees from Generation X were more likely to delay training. While there were definite personal challenges to returning to training, no one regretted the decision. This group is an underutilized resource that may help build stronger bridges between the generalist and MFM communities.
Columbia University Medical Center, Jamaica, NY
Financial Disclosure: The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.