Baseline Clinical Skill of Medical Students Entering the Obstetrics and Gynecology Core Clinical Clerkship

Erin Nelson, Kayla Ireland, Jill M. Krapf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Determine baseline clinical skills of medical students entering the Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB/GYN) clerkship with prior clinical curricular exposure. Background: Students are introduced to clinical correlates sooner in the preclinical curriculum to facilitate adult learning. There are few studies determining clerkship-specific clinical skills readiness in OB/GYN, a specialty with historically limited previous exposure. Methods: An anonymous 15-question clinical readiness survey (1–5 Likert scale) was administered to medical students during their OB/GYN Orientation at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio over four academic years, 2014–2018, to determine baseline OB/GYN clinical skill knowledge and confidence. Statistical analysis included Spearman rank correlation and Kruskal-Wallis tests, with significance defined as p < 0.05. Results: The survey was completed by 346 students (77% participation). Overall, students felt most confident in knot tying skills (17%) and closed gloving technique (7%) and least confident in knowledge of labor curve (86%), Leopold’s maneuvers (88%), and Montevideo units (MVU) (90%). Confidence in performing closed gloving (4% vs. 11%, p < 0.01) and tying knots (8% vs. 27%, p < 0.01) was significantly higher during rotations later in the academic year. Students who expressed a higher level of interest felt more prepared for the clerkship (rs = 0.21, p < 0.01). Discussion: Results indicate that confidence in obstetric-specific clinical skills is relatively low throughout the academic year; however, baseline surgical skills show improvement. It is important for teaching faculty to know baseline clinical skills of the medical student with earlier clinical exposure to enhance adult learning and optimize clinical competency. In medical students receiving earlier clinical exposure, confidence in baseline obstetric-specific clinical skill is relatively low throughout the academic year. Confidence in general surgical skills demonstrates improvement over the academic year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-65
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2021


  • Clerkship readiness
  • Clinical skills
  • Undergraduate medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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