Abortion education in medical schools: A national survey

Eve Espey, Tony Ogburn, Alice Chavez, Clifford Qualls, Mario Leyba

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Objective: This survey was performed to examine the inclusion and extent of abortion education in US medical schools. Study design: A 3-item confidential survey requesting information about abortion education throughout the 4 years of medical school was mailed to the OB-GYN clerkship directors of the 126 accredited US medical schools. Results: Seventy-eight surveys were returned, for a response rate of 62%. Overall, 17% of clerkship directors reported no formal education about abortion either in the preclinical or clinical years. In the third-year OB-GYN rotation, 23% reported no formal education, whereas 32% offered a lecture specifically about abortion. While 45% of third-year rotations offered a clinical experience, participation was generally low. About half of schools offered a fourth-year reproductive health elective, but few students participated. Conclusion: Abortion education is limited in US medical schools. As an integral part of women's reproductive health services, abortion education deserves a place in the curricula of all medical schools.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-643
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Abortion
  • Medical curricula
  • Medical education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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