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J Soc Gynecol Investig. 2002 Nov-Dec;9(6):372-8.

A survey of past obstetrics and gynecology research fellows.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, St. Louis University, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.



To survey obstetrician-gynecologist-scientists to determine factors that enhanced or hindered research careers.


A pretested mail survey was sent to 107 obstetrician-gynecologists who had received research fellowship awards from professional organizations during the years 1971-1999. Demographic information along with face-value, forced-choice and yes-no questions as well as those asking for a single response using a Likert-type scale were requested. Two open-ended questions were also asked. The questionnaire was designed to obtain at least a 60% return.


A 62.2% return demonstrated that 92% of this group of former fellows holds academic positions. Twenty-four percent of respondents had no research mentors in the first 5 years after fellowship, and 58% had or have National Institutes of Health grant awards, with an average of two grants. The majority believed they did not have adequate time to conduct research, stating that 80% or more time was necessary for a successful research career.


Career success of the respondents is variable and is related to mentors, time allocated to research, and funding. The obstetrics and gynecology specialty must find ways to provide increased mentoring and time allocation to encourage funding opportunities.

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