OB-GYN residencies see applications drop post-Dobbs

Thirteen states have enacted full abortion bans since the Supreme Court issued its decision on Dobbs v. The Women's Health Organization in June. Residency applications in those states have dropped — particularly in obstetrics and gynecology. 

States with complete bans on abortion saw greater decreases in residency applications than those with gestational limits or no restrictions, a trend that carried across specialties, according to research from the American Academy of Medical Colleges published April 13. However, recent medical school graduates were particularly avoidant of OB-GYN residencies. 

Obstetrics and gynecology applications had been on the rise nationwide before the Dobbs decision. In 2022, they saw a 4.6 percent increase in residency applicants — up from just 0.1 percent in 2021. 

In 2023, OB-GYN applications dropped 5.2 percent, down nearly 10 percent from the prior year's gains. 

States with total abortion bans saw a 10.5 percent decrease in OB-GYN resident applications — more than double the national average. States with gestational limits saw a 6.4 percent decrease and where abortion is legal, applications dropped 5.3 percent. 

All OB-GYN residency positions were filled this year despite a drop in applicants, according to the AAMC. 

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