How resident unprofessional behavior is identified and managed: a program director survey

Karen E. Adams, Sandra Emmons, Jillian Romm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine how unprofessional behavior by residents is identified/ managed within residency programs, and under what conditions concerns are communicated to potential employers. Study Design: A web-based survey was emailed to 241 directors of US obstetrics and gynecology residency programs. Results: 141 program directors (PDs) responded (58%). 84% of PDs indicated that problems with professionalism most commonly come to their attention through personal communication. Methods of addressing the problem included expression of expectation of improvement (95%), psychological counseling (68%), placing resident on probation (59%), and dismissal (30%). The majority of PDs felt remediation was not completely successful. All PDs are willing to communicate professionalism concerns to potential employers, but 42% provide this information only if asked. Conclusion: Resident unprofessional behavior is a common problem for program directors, and remediation is challenging. PDs are willing to express concerns to potential employers, but a significant percentage indicate concerns only if asked.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)692.e1-692.e5
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2008


  • ACGME competencies
  • medical education
  • professionalism
  • residency programs
  • unprofessional behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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