Objective: Although the SOGC Strategic Directions 2006-2011 includes a commitment to the development of a human resource strategy for obstetrical and gynaecological care, little is known about the career plans of Canadian obstetrics and gynaecology residents. If we are to determine the needs of our profession, we must be aware of the expected practice patterns of future women's health care providers. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the future career plans of Canadian obstetrics and gynaecology residents.
Methods: The SOGC Junior Member Committee administered two career surveys to Canadian obstetrics and gynaecology residents. The first was directly distributed to all Canadian residents and collected by local representatives of the SOGC Junior Member Committee in November 2002. The second was electronically administered from November 2005 to January 2006. The data collected from the surveys were collated and analyzed using statistical analysis software.
Results: The first survey, in 2002, was completed by 236 obstetrics and gynaecology residents (68% response rate) and the second, in 2006, by 246 (65% response rate). In both surveys, respondents were evenly distributed over all five years of residency training and all residency training programs. In 2002, 63 residents (30%) were considering additional postgraduate fellowship training following completion of residency compared with 130 residents (53%) in 2006 (P < 0.001). In both surveys, senior residents (postgraduate years IV and V) were significantly less likely to consider further postgraduate training than residents in their first three years (2002: 17% vs. 38%; 2006: 42% vs. 58%). Of total respondents to the 2002 and 2006 surveys, 87% planned to practice obstetrics upon graduation. The 2006 survey also found that the majority of residents desired to work in call groups of 6 to 10 physicians, work three to five on-call shifts per month, and work a 40- to 60-hour week; 44% of residents planned work as locums after graduation.
Conclusion: Recognition of the planned practice patterns of our current residents may assist in the development of an appropriate human resource strategy for future obstetrical and gynaecological care in Canada.