Community Health Center Engagement and Training During Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency

J Grad Med Educ. 2019 Oct;11(5):513-517. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-19-00039.1.


Background: Community health centers (CHCs) and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) are critical health care access points for medically underserved areas in the United States. They also provide opportunities for residents to learn about health system challenges, including workforce shortages, social determinants of health, and health equity.

Objective: We sought to describe current obstetrics and gynecology (OB-GYN) resident engagement and training in community health settings.

Methods: We conducted a website review and survey to identify the prevalence and types of OB-GYN resident exposure to CHCs, including FQHCs. We reviewed 241 program websites to identify community health electives or rotations. We then surveyed program administrators regarding departmental affiliations with CHCs, types of resident involvement, and barriers to resident rotations at CHCs.

Results: The website review revealed that 18% (44 of 241) of programs offered a community health rotation. Of the 241 programs surveyed, 78 program administrators responded (32%). Forty-three programs (55%) had at least 1 affiliated CHC, and 34 programs (44%) allowed residents to rotate at a CHC. The most common barrier to resident rotations at a CHC was inadequate resident coverage of hospital-based clinical responsibilities. Respondents reported that among 782 graduating residents in the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years, 76 (10%) planned to pursue a position at a CHC.

Conclusions: According to their websites, a small percentage of US OB-GYN residency programs offered a CHC rotation. Of programs responding to a survey on the topic, less than half offered CHC rotations and less than 1 in 10 residents planned to work in CHCs after graduation.

MeSH terms

  • Community Health Centers / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Gynecology / education*
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / statistics & numerical data*
  • Obstetrics / education*
  • Pregnancy
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States