Objective Since its establishment in 1999, the Women's Health Track (WHT) has developed a more formalized curriculum in gender-specific education for the WHT residents. In so doing, there may be an indirect effect for learning opportunities for all internal medicine (IM) residents regardless of their track. Our aim was to evaluate whether all residents' comfort level in women's health topics has improved over the last 2 years.
Methods We administered a questionnaire in 2003 and again in 2005 to IM residents, addressing comfort level on 16 common women's health topics. Both years, the questionnaires were distributed at an IM noon conference. Data were evaluated using chi-square tests and logistic regression.
Results 80 of 90 (89%) residents in 2003 and 82 of 88 (93%) of residents in 2005 attending the conference responded to the questionnaire. In 2005, 41% of the respondents were female, 27% were postgraduate year (PGY)-1, 40% PGY-2, 31% PGY-3, and 2% PGY-4, similar to respondents in 2003. In both years, most residents felt comfortable addressing cervical cancer (88% in 2003; 91% in 2005), breast cancer (88%; 94%), osteoporosis (88%; 89%), and sexually transmitted diseases (88%; 90%). Fewer residents in either year were comfortable addressing infertility (25%; 24%), sexual assault (20%; 27%), medical problems in pregnancy (25%; 35%), and preconception counseling (29%; 39%). Compared to 2003, residents' comfort level in addressing women's health topics had increased in 12 out of 16 topics, but this was not statistically significant. In multivariable analyses controlling for survey year, PGY level, sex, residency track, and female sex predicted higher comfort level in 7 out of 16 topics.
Conclusion We found no clear evidence of increased comfort level in addressing women's health topics among all IM residents after a more formalized women's health track curriculum.