Program directors' perceptions of resident education in women's health: A national survey

Rachel S. Casas, Laura D. Hallett, Catherine A. Rich, Megan R. Gerber, Tracy A. Battaglia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Background: Despite professional societies' emphasis on women's health in internal medicine (IM) resident curricula, national implementation has varied. This study describes IM program directors' perceptions of women's health topics that residents should master and the current state of women's health education in IM residency programs. Materials and Methods: We recruited 408 program directors of IM residency programs to complete an electronic cross-sectional survey. Participants were surveyed about expected resident mastery of twelve women's health topics in the context of their program's current characteristics, core curricula, and training opportunities. Results: One hundred twelve IM program directors completed the survey (response rate 27%). The percentage of program directors who perceived that residents should master each of the twelve women's health topics ranged from 48% to 98%, with the most program directors expecting mastery of osteoporosis (N = 110, 98%), sexually transmitted infection (N = 110, 98%), and gender-specific cancer (N = 109, 97%). These topics, however, were not currently included in the core curricula of 6%-12% of programs. Programs offered varied opportunities in women's health, including dedicated women's health electives (N = 76, 68%), concentrations or tracks (N = 8, 7%), and continuity clinics (N = 15, 13%). Most program directors were interested (N = 90, 80%) in expanding women's health opportunities in their programs. Conclusion: While women's health topics were perceived by program directors as a priority for IM resident mastery, certain priority topics and training opportunities were limited. Additional studies are needed to explore barriers to expansion of resident education in women's health and potential solutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)133-140
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Women's Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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