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Table 2 Intrinsic and extrinsic motivators for selecting obstetrics and gynecology

From: Choosing a women’s health career

Theme Participant Quote
Intrinsic
 Advocacy and empowerment “OB GYN had elements of advocacy that I had always wanted and always been really important to me”
 Personality and characteristics “I feel like I have a good relationship with people when it comes to uncomfortable topics and making them comfortable. I think this will help me in OB/GYN in uncomfortable situations for people to have that experience in patient care. I just feel very natural in talking with women.”
 Variability of practice “I really liked how with OB/GYN you can go from all aspects of patient care from happy times to announcing birth to hardships and time of death. You really get all aspects of continuity of care from a primary provider, but additionally as well with more hands-on experience in terms of surgery and C-sections.”
 Content “I remember being really enamored by the subject material, the anatomy and just the physiology”
 Meaning “I love being able to see the direct impact you can have. In a lot of settings, you’re the only providers that they see, and you have the opportunity to make a huge difference.”
 Relationships “So, I kind of like that with patients that you could establish a relationship and talk about what’s very personal and important to them, and something that they really wouldn’t discuss or feel safe outside of a clinical setting without having established a relationship between a physician and patient.”
 Intensity “The fact that things can go terribly wrong, and the potential to experience one of the worst days of your life and to be prepared to be present and helpful in that scenario as well. It’s really just a unique opportunity”
 Society and policy “A lot of crap laws have been passed in various states, and I am a firm proponent of increasing choice and trying to limit the anti-choice measures that have been so popular in conservative states. Those things outside of school have increased my desire to go into the field”
 Immediacy “I enjoy working with my hands and really fixing something. I really needed immediate gratification and you definitely get that with delivery”
Extrinsic
 Role models and mentors “She was just a phenomenal physician and teacher, and that was a really nice example for someone I would like to model my residency path after.”
 Teams “Really the one time in medical school that I felt I was part of the team… I had a valuable role and I wasn’t as much just an observer but I was contributing to the work of the day and actually helping with patients.”
 Community “Seeing how well I got along with [students applying into OB GYN] and that we had very similar values and interest in medicine and what we wanted to do.”
 Inclusion “It was a welcoming and inviting comment, and it made me feel included and part of the team.”
 Exposure “Without contact with faculty, there is no way that I could have done that visualization. I could not have seen myself in their shoes.”
 Teachers “I think [my teacher] did a really good job of making it exciting and appealing.”
 Organization “[The course] was very well shaped, well thought out, and extremely coordinated. It really flowed, it made sense…That really got my mind around reproductive science and women’s health when I really hadn’t considered it as a career before.”
 Value of education “The residents felt they were well supported and that people care about their education, which is different than you felt in some other [fields].”
  1. Abbreviation: OB GYN obstetrics and gynecology