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Objectives: Obstetrics and gynaecology (OBGYN) is a major speciality in the medical field that is often demanding yet rewarding; however, OBGYN receives the least number of applicants in Oman. This study aimed to determine the factors that influence graduates in choosing OBGYN as their speciality. Methods: This cross-sectional questionnaire-based study was conducted from February to March 2017 at Sultan Qaboos University Hospital, Royal Hospital, Khoula Hospital and Al Nahdha Hospital, Muscat, Oman. The questionnaire was distributed to 150 Omani medical graduates (interns and post-intern doctors). Results: A total of 145 Omani graduates took part in the study (response rate: 96.7%) and the participants’ average age was 26 years. Family medicine ranked as the first choice followed by paediatrics and emergency medicine. OBGYN was the first choice for eight female graduates. The top factors attracting male graduates to the OBGYN speciality were its surgical opportunities (80.6%), intellectual content (77.4%), faculty interactions and the opportunity to care for a healthy population (54.8% each); however, the top factors attracting females were the intellectual content (88.6%), patients’ desire for female physicians (85.1%), the opportunity to care for a healthy population (76.3%) and cultural expectations (69.5%). The most discouraging factors for male graduates were cultural expectations (100%), the patients’ desire for a female physician (93.5%) and the level of stress (71%), while the discouraging factors for female graduates were the level of stress (82.5%), time demands (78.1%), night duties and the length of the residency (71.9% each). Conclusion: Most of the factors that discourage female graduates from choosing OBGYN are to some extent modifiable. These changes should be considered to encourage the selection of OBGYN as a career by medical students.
Keywords: Career Choice; Obstetrics and Gynecology Department, Hospital; Internship and Residency; Medical Student; Oman.