Association of obstetrician gender with obstetric interventions and outcomes

Lynn M. Yee*, Emily S. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: To estimate whether there are differences in obstetric interventions or outcomes by the gender of the delivering physician. METHODS: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of all nulliparous women delivering singleton, vertex, live births at 37 weeks of gestation or greater at a tertiary care institution (2014-2015). Patient clinical characteristics were analyzed by delivering physician gender. The primary outcomes were delivery mode and episiotomy. Secondary outcomes included major perineal laceration, postpartum hemorrhage, 5-minute Apgar score less than 7, cord umbilical artery pH less than 7.0, and neonatal intensive care unit admission. Univariable and hierarchical multivariable analyses including physician as a random effect were utilized for analyses. RESULTS: Of the 7,027 women who met inclusion criteria, 81.3% (n55,716) were delivered by a female physician. Women delivered by female physicians were slightly younger than those delivered by male physicians and were more likely to be publicly insured (11.7% vs 7.1%, P,.001). Mode of delivery did not differ by physician gender; the cesarean delivery rate was 20.6% for male physicians and 20.5% for female physicians (P5.61). Although the episiotomy rate did differ by physician gender, with 5.9% of patients delivered by male physicians undergoing episiotomy compared with 3.6% of patients delivered by female physicians (P5.001), this finding did not persist in the multivariable model after accounting for potential confounders (adjusted odds ratio 0.87, 95% CI 0.49-1.56). There were no differences by physician gender regarding any of the examined secondary outcomes in univariable or multivariable analyses. CONCLUSION: Outcomes of nulliparous women undergoing a trial of labor did not differ by delivering physician gender.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalObstetrics and gynecology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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