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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 6-11

Is there a gender disparity in the residency training programme? Perspectives of trainees from a tertiary hospital in Nigeria

1 Department of Internal Medicine, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Nigeria
2 Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Akpabio Akanimo Akpabio
Department of Internal Medicine, University of Uyo Teaching Hospital, Uyo
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jmwa.jmwa_2_21

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INTRODUCTION: Universal health coverage in Africa is constantly threatened by inadequate workforce relative to the health needs of the population. These inadequacies may be worsened by gender disparities with female doctors worse affected. This study aims to highlight the gender distribution of residents across specialties, compare the residency programme experiences of male and female trainees and assess their perspectives towards gender disparities in training. METHODOLOGY: This was a pretested cross-sectional online survey using Google Forms© involving all 208 University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) residents with additional information from the hospital database. Data was analyzed using Stata version 16 with statistical significance P < 0.05. Ethical approval was obtained for the study. RESULTS: Of 208 trainees, 128 (61.5%) were male while 80 (38.5%) were female. Departments had from 2 (ENT) to 29 residents (internal medicine). A response rate of 58.6% was obtained from 122 respondents (62.3% males). General surgery had a 100% male predominance while paediatrics had a 68% female predominance. Most respondents (72.9%) felt that the programme was quite stressful and 36.9% had considered leaving. Half of the trainees (50.8%) got maximum support from their families in the form of emotional and psychological care. While 73.8% acknowledged gender disparities, only 24.6% experienced discrimination. CONCLUSION: The UUTH residency training programme is male dominated, especially in general surgery with training challenges experienced by male and female trainees. Gender disparities exist though only a quarter experienced discrimination. Existing disparities should be urgently addressed and gender mainstreaming promoted by training institutions.

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