Ethics Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology: a Survey of Resident Physicians

John Byrne, Sabrina Holmquist, Katherine Derby, Julie Chor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess Obstetrics and Gynecology (Ob/Gyn) resident experiences with and preferences for ethics education. Methods: A cross-sectional, web-based survey was deployed to residents from 9 of 11 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) accredited Chicago Ob/Gyn programs. The survey was modified from a prior survey of Ob/Gyn residency program directors and developed in collaboration with a professional survey lab at the authors’ institution. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze data. Results: Of 191 eligible Ob/Gyn residents, 111 (58%) responded to the survey. Most respondents were from university-based (n = 90, 81%), non-religiously affiliated programs (n = 81, 73%). Only 23% (n = 26) of respondents indicated their program included ethics in its core educational curriculum. Of the respondents, 87% (n = 89) stated their program dedicated 0–5 hours per year to ethics. The vast majority of residents (n = 90, 82%) would like more ethics education and believed it should be required (n = 72, 66%) for residency completion. Of the respondents, 42% (n = 47) stated they felt unprepared to deal with ethically challenging situations. Senior residents were not more likely to report feeling well prepared compared to junior residents. Hands-on experience, case-based learning, and informal discussion with faculty were viewed as the most helpful modalities to learn ethics. Residents identified curricular crowding (n = 87, 80%) and limited faculty expertise (n = 69, 64%) as barriers to receiving formal ethics education. Conclusion: Although barriers such as time constraints and faculty inexperience exist, Ob/Gyn residents desire greater ethics education in residency training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-351
Number of pages7
JournalMedical Science Educator
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Residency
  • Training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Education


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