Evaluation of ethics education in obstetrics and gynecology residency programs

John Byrne, Heather Straub, Laura Digiovanni, Julie Chor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective The objective of the study was to assess the current status of ethics education in obstetrics-gynecology residency programs. Study Design A cross-sectional, web-based survey was designed in conjunction with a professional survey laboratory at the University of Chicago. The survey was piloted with a convenience sample of clinical medical ethics fellows to assess question content and clarity. The survey was deployed by e-mail to all obstetrics-gynecology residency program directors. Descriptive statistics were used to analyze participant responses. The University of Chicago's Institutional Review Board deemed this study exempt from institutional review board formal review. Results Of 242 eligible obstetrics-gynecology residency program directors, 118 (49%) completed the survey. Most respondents were from university-based programs (n = 78, 66%) that were not religiously affiliated (n = 98, 83%) and trained 4-6 residents per postgraduate year (n = 64, 70%). Although 50% of program directors (n = 60) reported having ethics as part of their core curriculum, most programs teach ethics in an unstructured manner. Fifty-seven percent of respondents (n = 66) stated their program dedicated 5 or fewer hours per year to ethics. The majority of program directors (n = 80, 73%) responded they would like more to a lot more ethics education and believed that ethics education should be required (n = 93, 85%) for residents to complete their training. Respondents identified that crowding in the curriculum was a significant barrier to increased ethics training (n = 50, 45%) and two-thirds (n = 74, 67%) reported a lack of faculty expertise as a moderate barrier to providing ethics education in the residency curriculum. Conclusion This study found that a lack of structured curricula, inadequate faculty expertise, and limited time were important barriers for ethics education in obstetrics-gynecology programs across the nation. Despite these existing challenges, program directors have a strong interest in increasing ethics education in residency training. Therefore, additional resources are needed to assist program directors in enhancing resident ethics education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)397.e1-397.e8
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Volume212
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • ethics education
  • obstetrics-gynecology residency programs

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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