To identify the personal values and desired practice patterns held by medical students who have high interest in obstetrics and gynecology.
We recruited 2nd-year medical students to complete an institutional survey on early career interests, which was developed to assess specialty interests and characterize factors that may affect career choice (adapted from the AAMC 2015 Matriculating Student Questionnaire). Level of interest in OB/GYN was rated from 1 (no interest) to 5 (high interest). Level of importance of personal values and practice preferences was rated from 1 (not important) to 4 (essential). Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was used to correlate variables, P < 0.05 as significant.
160 students completed surveys. 44% (71) were male and 56% (89) female. Median age was 25 (range: 22-33) years. Medical student interest in OB/GYN positively correlated with a desire to work for social change (0.365, p < .001), expression of personal values (0.189, p=0.017), desire to work with patients of lower socioeconomic status (-0.208, p=0.008), longer patient continuity (0.265, p=0.001) and preference for younger patients (0.173, p=0.029). Higher interest in OB/GYN correlated with older age of the student (0.222, p=0.005). OB/GYN interest negatively correlated with desire for high income potential (-0.197, p=0.013).
Interest in OB/GYN correlates with socially minded values such as working for social change, expression of personal values and working with the underserved. They preferred longer continuity of care, and working with younger patients. Larger studies are underway to determine the relative importance of these factors in students who eventually enter OB/GYN careers.
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, CA
Financial Disclosure: The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.