Preparedness of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residents for Fellowship Training

Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Sep;126(3):559-568. doi: 10.1097/AOG.0000000000000999.


Objective: To evaluate the perceptions of fellowship program directors of incoming clinical fellows for subspecialty training.

Methods: A validated survey by the American College of Surgeons was modified and distributed to all fellowship program directors in four subspecialties within obstetrics and gynecology: female pelvic medicine and reconstructive surgery, gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, and reproductive endocrinology-infertility. The 59-item survey explored five domains concerning preparedness for fellowship: professionalism, independent practice, psychomotor ability, clinical evaluation, and academic scholarship. A Likert scale with five responses was used and tailored to each subspecialty. Standard statistical methods were used to compare responses between subspecialties and to analyze data within each subspecialty individually.

Results: One hundred thirty directors completed the survey, for a response rate of 60%. In the domain of professionalism, more than 88% of participants stated that incoming fellows had appropriate interactions with faculty and staff. Scores in this domain were lower for gynecologic oncology respondents (P=.046). Responses concerning independent practice of surgical procedures (hysterectomy, pelvic reconstruction, and minimally invasive) were overwhelmingly negative. Only 20% of first-year fellows were able to independently perform a vaginal hysterectomy, 46% an abdominal hysterectomy, and 34% basic hysteroscopic procedures. Appropriate postoperative care (63%) and management of the critically ill patient (71%) were rated adequate for all subspecialties.

Conclusion: Graduating residents may be underprepared for advanced subspecialty training, necessitating an evaluation of the current structure of resident and fellow curriculum.

Level of evidence: III.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Education, Medical, Graduate / organization & administration*
  • Fellowships and Scholarships / organization & administration*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / education
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Needs Assessment
  • Obstetrics / education
  • Program Evaluation
  • United States