Current status of obstetrics and gynecology resident medical-legal education: a survey of program directors

Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Dec;106(6):1382-4. doi: 10.1097/01.AOG.0000187895.59463.5b.


Objective: To assess the level and type of medical-legal education offered to obstetrics and gynecology residents and medical students.

Methods: All obstetrics and gynecology program directors (n = 252) were asked to complete a survey questioning the availability of, type of, and desire for medical-legal education within their programs.

Results: Seventy-eight percent of the program directors answered the survey with 86% reporting some degree of formal medical-legal education. The most common formats were didactic lectures (38%), grand rounds (30%), case conferences (19%), mock trials (9%), and other (4%). These sessions most commonly contained information on proper documentation (48%), testifying (25%), and giving a deposition (24%). The average number of sessions per year was 4.1 with a median of 3 sessions per year. Despite this high percentage of some formal education, 88% expressed an interest in pursuing other educational options on these topics.

Conclusion: Most obstetrics and gynecology residency programs provide some form of medical-legal instruction to residents, but the small number of sessions suggests that this is inadequate. Residency programs may benefit from a larger and more formal resident education program on medical-legal issues.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • California
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / standards
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / trends
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / standards
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / trends
  • Faculty, Medical / organization & administration
  • Female
  • Gynecology / education*
  • Gynecology / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration
  • Male
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Obstetrics / legislation & jurisprudence*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires