INTRODUCTION: Gender disparities exist in the OBGYN discipline. This study investigates, for the first time, whether gender impacts on the confidence of practical and surgical skills among OBGYN residents, and of being prepared to work as a specialist.
METHODS: The gynecological societies of Austria, Germany, and Switzerland established a web-based survey of 30 questions that was sent to all registered OBGYN members-in-training from August to September 2020. Data collection, controlling and analysis were performed by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH).
RESULTS: A total of 422 participants took part in the survey, of which 375 (88.9%) were female, 46 (10.9%) were male, and one (0.2%) was divers. The diverse participant was excluded from further analyses. The gender distribution was comparable in all three countries. Multiple regression analyses showed that gender is an independent variable significantly impacting on the confidence levels in performing standard gynaecological (p = 0.03) and obstetric (p < 0.001) procedures. Similarly, the feeling of confidence in being prepared for working as a specialist in a clinic showed to be gender-dependent (p < 0.001), however, not the feeling of being prepared for working as specialist in an outpatient setting (p = 0.37). The "female factor" significantly decreases the confidence rating for surgical and practical skills and for working in a hospital. Covariates including year of training, country, workload, receiving regular feedback, and implemented simulation training were included in all analyses.
DISCUSSION: Improvements of residency programs to promote female doctors to overcome factors reducing their confidence in their own OBGYN skills are highly warranted.