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General Information

The aim of this study is to investigate the factors leading to poor maternal outcomes in surgical trainees to provide insight into potential health issues and barriers faced by surgical trainees in all stages of pregnancy including pre-conception. 

There is emerging global evidence that detrimental maternal health related outcome measures are associated with the current format of surgical training during pregnancy.  At present there is a paucity of data to provide contemporary maternal and child health outcomes of U.K surgical trainees. Our group would like to investigate these factors to allow us to provide insight of potential health issues and barriers faced by surgical trainees in all stages of pregnancy including pre-conception.  This data will be vital to present to our surgical governing bodies/training institutions who we can then lobby to implement adjustments needed for pregnant/partners of pregnant surgical trainees.

This is an inclusive study for all surgical trainees and not those that are currently or have been pregnant.  We also require the input of male surgical trainees for insight into barriers they faced accessing paternity leave. In addition, partners of surgical trainees who have been pregnant will act as a control group for our study. To prevent duplication of data, we are excluding male surgeons whose partner is a female surgeon in training in the UK.

We appreciate your interest in participating in this questionnaire. You have been invited to participate as you are a surgical trainee. Please read through this information before agreeing to participate (if you wish to) by proceeding to the online survey found by the link provided.

You may ask any questions before deciding to take part by contacting the researcher (details below).

The Principal Researcher is Sarah Howles, who is attached to the Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences at the University of Oxford. 

To participate we would like you to complete the following online survey which will take less than 20 minutes. No personally identifying data will be collected. We will use the data collected to define pregnancy outcomes in surgical trainees within the UK. Data will be used to lobby to implement adjustments needed for pregnant/partners of pregnant surgical trainees.

Do I have to take part?

No. Please note that participation is voluntary. If you do decide to take part, you may withdraw at any point for any reason before submitting your answers by pressing the ‘Exit’ button/ closing the browser. All questions are optional.

How will my data be used?

We will not collect any data that could directly identify you. 

Your IP address will not be stored.

The responses you provide will be stored in a password-protected computers and may be used in academic publications, conference presentations, and reports for external organisations. Research data will be stored for 5 years after publication or public release of the work of the research. 

Who has reviewed this study?

This project has been reviewed by, and received ethics clearance through, a subcommittee of the University of Oxford Central University Research Ethics Committee R80778/RE0001.

Who do I contact if I have a concern or I wish to complain?

If you have a concern about any aspect of this study, please speak to Sarah Howles (, 01865 857227) and we will do our best to answer your query. We will acknowledge your concern within 10 working days and give you an indication of how it will be dealt with. If you remain unhappy or wish to make a formal complaint, please contact the Chair of the Research Ethics Committee at the University of Oxford who will seek to resolve the matter as soon as possible 

Medical Sciences Interdivisional Research Ethics Committee; Email:; Address: Research Services, University of Oxford, Boundary Brook House, Churchill Drive, Headington, Oxford OX3 7GB 

Please note that you may only participate in this survey if you are 18 years of age or over.

If you confirm that you are over 18 years of age and have read the information above and agree to participate with the understanding that the data you submit will be processed accordingly, please proceed to the survey using the link provided.

Download the Participant Information Sheet