The following abstract was developed during the 2010 Research Summit and presented at the 2010 NAEMSE Symposium in Chicago.

Gender Inequity in Paramedic Student Obstetrics/Gynecology Clinical Experience

Timothy Howey, BA, NREMT-P

Introduction: Past research has shown a gender bias in medical student obstetrics/gynecology (OB/Gyn) clerkship experience. No research exists on the effect of gender bias during paramedic student clinical experiences.

Hypothesis: Male paramedic students have fewer OB/Gyn patient experiences and fewer leadership opportunities than female paramedic students.

Methods: Between 2001 and 2009, 446 programs required paramedic students to prospectively report clinical experiences into FISDAP, a national, online emergency medical services (EMS) student tracking system. Inclusion criteria included consent to use data for research, reporting of student gender, validation of data by the student’s paramedic program, and successful graduation. The clinical experiences of male and female students were compared using 95% confidence intervals.

Results: From FISDAP, 3,928 students, 1,015 (25.8%) of whom were female and 2,913 (74.2%) of whom were male, met the inclusion criteria. In the hospital, the average (± standard deviation) numbers of OB patients encountered were significantly different (male students: 8.03 ± 2.8%; female students: 9.60 ± 4.6%) (see the figure). The results for likelihood of a student’s performing a comprehensive assessment during a hospital encounter were not significantly different (male students: 69.8% ± 1.4%; female students: 68.7% ± 2.2%). In the field, the average numbers of OB patients encountered were not significantly different (male students: 1.84 ± 4.5%; female students: 1.89 ± 7.2%) (figure). The male students were slightly more likely to lead a prehospital OB/Gyn call (male students: 69.8% led ± 2.0%; female students: 65.1% led ± 3.8%).

Conclusion: These results are consistent with evidence found in previous studies of medical students. OB/Gyn educators should encourage patients to accept student participation regardless of gender.