How We Do It: Student Perspectives on Changes to the Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Application Process

Eric A. Strand, Brett L. Worly, Helen K. Morgan, David A. Marzano, Abigail Ford Winkel, Jessica Bienstock, Erika Banks, Nadine T. Katz, Luiz G.O. Brito, Maya M. Hammoud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To describe the perspectives of obstetrics and gynecology (OBGYN) residency applicants regarding new standards for the 2019 to 2020 application cycle. Design: An anonymous electronic survey was sent to all OBGYN residency applicants to US programs retrospectively evaluating 5 new recommended standards for the application process. This 15-item survey assessed the importance of the proposed standards and their impact on applicants’ anxiety. Setting: The OBGYN residency application process is marked by increasing application numbers and no standardization for managing interview offers. The Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO) received a 5-year Reimagining Residency grant from the American Medical Association to improve the transition from undergraduate medical education (UME) to graduate medical education (GME) within OBGYN. The multiphase project, “Transforming the UME to GME Transition for Obstetrics and Gynecology- Right Resident, Right Program, Ready Day One (RRR),” began with Standardizing the OBGYN Application and Interview Process (SOAIP). This group recommended 5 new standards for all US OBGYN residency programs and applicants. Participants: Applicants for US OBGYN residency programs for the 2019 to 2020 application cycle completed the survey, with a 904/2508 (36.0%) response rate, including 762 complete responses (30.4%). Results: Applicants reported that all 5 of the new standards would cause the least self-perceived anxiety (range 76.8% - 96.5%). The impact of the standards on perceived anxiety varied by student group, with International Medical Graduates (IMGs) and students with USMLE Step I scores <200 describing lesser impact compared to others. Despite these differences, all 5 standards were consistently noted to cause the least anxiety for all groups. Despite varying degrees of effects in different groups, the new OBGYN residency application standards caused the least anxiety for all subgroups of applicants. Conclusions: Implementing universal standards for the OBGYN residency application process was favorably perceived by applicants and caused the least anxiety for applicants.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1098
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Surgical Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2022


  • anxiety
  • graduate medical education
  • medical students
  • quality improvement
  • residency application


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