P-OBS/GYN-S-125 Understanding the Experiences of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Residents Who Take Parental Leave During Training in Canada: A Needs Assessment


      To identify and understand the barriers and supports associated with taking a parental leave during Obstetrics and Gyneacology residency training in Canada with the aim of helping to direct parental leave policies.

      Study Methods

      Participants were recruited via social media, program directors, and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada. The study included a short demographics questionnaire along with a semi structured qualitative interview in person, via telephone or via video conference. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, and anonymized. Descriptive thematic analysis using the constant comparative method of grounded theory was performed on each transcript by two independent investigators. Codes were applied to each sentence of the transcript to identify the main idea in the text segment. Once coding was complete the investigators looked for relationships between codes to define themes. Data collection continued until a saturation in themes was met.


      Fifteen participants from across Canada completed the study. The most significant challenges surrounding parental leave during residency include finances, issues of work redistribution, difficulty upon return to work (skill loss, time management, exam preparation), and work-life balance. The major supports noted include family, colleagues and mentors, adequate childcare, and program flexibility surrounding the leave. Participants made suggestions for alleviating the stressors, including gradual return to work and careful planning surrounding returning rotation.


      Trainees identified formal program supports, non surgical/core initial rotation back, and a gradual return to work as important areas to address in policies surrounding resident parental leave during Canadian Obstetrics and Gynaecology training.