Do Women's health internal medicine residency tracks make a difference?

Journal of Women's Health
Abby L SpencerMelissa McNeil


Women's health tracks (WHTs) were developed to overcome identified deficiencies in residency training. Their effectiveness in preparing residents to manage both gender-neutral and gender-specific medical conditions is unknown. Using current guidelines for internal medicine training, we designed a 65-item survey to measure residents' knowledge, comfort levels, and referral patterns concerning two gender-neutral topics (diabetes and thyroid disease) and two gender-specific topics (polycystic ovarian syndrome [PCOS] and menopause). We administered it to postgraduate year 2 (PGY2) and PGY3 internal medicine residents at a large academic medical center and compared the results of WHT and non-WHT residents using chi-square and t tests. Of 61 residents, 50 (82%) responded. Fifty percent of respondents were female, 62% were PGY3, and 36% were WHT. WHT residents had higher mean knowledge scores than non-WHT residents concerning PCOS (60% vs. 45%, p < 0.05) and menopause (73% vs. 60 %, p < 0.01), and they were more likely to report feeling "very comfortable" handling PCOS and menopause issues (43% vs. 18%, p < 0.02), including diagnosing PCOS, managing hot flashes, and managing vaginal atrophy. WHT residents were less likely than non-WHT...Continue Reading


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