The percentage of medicine graduates opting for residency in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) has been decreasing in developed countries, including in Taiwan, Japan, and Korea. This multicountry study surveyed the OB/GYN residents affiliated with the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology (TAOG), the Japanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (JSOG), and the Korean Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology (KSOG) to evaluate the factors affecting the choice of pursing OB/GYN.
A 17-item questionnaire surveying the factors influencing the choice of pursuing a major medical specialty was translated into Japanese, Korean, and Chinese and administered to postgraduate OB/GYN residents between July 1, 2020, and August 31, 2020. Data on the participants’ sex, age, and level of residency were collected. Responses were compared between countries and sexes.
Residents of all three countries chose OB/GYN based on personal interest, and a sense of accomplishment in saving people’s life. Other positive factors include improved quality of life; higher salaries; and more opportunity for new techniques, research, and promotion. The negative factors included medical litigations, longer work hours, and unsafe working environments. Korean residents had lower ratings in several items, including “support from family,” “safety of working environment,” and “effectiveness of the alternative dispute resolution system,” which, unlike Japan and Taiwan, is not a no-fault compensation system for childbirth accidents.
The study findings can guide strategy making, such as decreasing workload and yet maintain training quality, to increase the number of medical students pursuing OB/GYN residency.

© 2022 Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology.