Why men are considered a 'diversity pick' for some OB-GYN residency programs

While the majority of OB-GYN physician residents are women, the ratio was significantly different 50 years ago, when 90 percent OB-GYNs were men, according to WFAE News.

Roughly 82 percent of resident physicians who were matched into OB-GYN residency programs in 2016 were women, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. However, several residency programs are attempting to recruit men for the sake of diversity.

Ashlyn Savage, MD, an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the college of medicine at Charleston-based Medical University of South Carolina, said because the specialty is composed primarily of female physicians, men are being considered as a "diversity pick."

"We might consider [a male] applicant with a slightly lower board score just to enhance how many men we are interviewing and considering," said Dr. Savage. "The primary motivation to do so is that patients might have the option to seek out providers who feel like themselves. [But] in this particular case, by nature, all patients for OB-GYNs are women."

Blake Butterworth, MD, a chief OB-GYN resident at MUSC, said obstetrics wasn't on his radar before his rotation during medical school because of the stereotype that it's primarily a female specialty.

"As males, we don't really understand the full variety and breadth of the specialty," Dr. Butterworth said. "But I think once you really get into it and get involved in it, I don't think that bias holds true."

He added more male OB-GYNs should take it upon themselves to mentor male residents and teach them about the specialty to rid them of any preconceived biases.

To access the full report, click here.

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