Away Rotations in Obstetrics and Gynecology: A Survey of Program Directors

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



Journal of surgical education




away rotations; equity; residency application; residency interviews; residency match


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate residency program director views on the purpose and value of an away rotation for students applying to a residency application in Obstetrics and Gynecology (OBGYN). DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The Council on Resident Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology administered a 28-question survey to current U.S. program directors in OBGYN in 2022. Program directors were asked if they offered away rotations to visiting medical students and if so, what the purpose the rotation played in their application process and whether rotating students were automatically offered a residency interview. Program characteristics such as program size, geographic location, and program type (university, community, or military based) were ascertained. A test of proportions was utilized to understand the relationship between program description and survey responses. RESULTS: Seventy-nine percent (224/285) of OBGYN PDs responded to the survey and consented to participation. Programs were representative of the types of training program, size of programs, and geographic location. Of respondents, 77.2% (173/224) of PDs indicated that away rotations were offered at their institution, but only 26.6% (46/173) of residency PDs assessed prospective candidates for away electives. The opportunity to provide students an audition for a residency position was the most common reason to offer an elective. Only 34.7% (60/173) of OBGYN PDs guaranteed an interview to students who completed away electives at their institution. The majority (118/173, 68.2%) of PDs indicated less than 25% of their current residents had completed an away rotation with their program. CONCLUSIONS: Many residency programs offered away electives to prospective applicants, but the majority did not personally assess applicants for competitiveness or guarantee interviews to students completing electives. To increase transparency in the application process, programs should publicize the purpose of away rotations and provide information on the number of interviews granted to students who complete away rotations.


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