Importance of abortion training to United States Obstetrics and Gynecology residency applicants in 2023

Rebecca H. Cohen, Anitra Beasley, Christine Conageski, Sarah M. Page-Ramsey, Meredith J. Alston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Objective: Nearly half of obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) residency programs in the United States lost access to local training in abortion care following the 2022 Dobbs v Jackson Supreme Court decision. We aimed to determine whether OB/GYN residency candidates who desire abortion training apply to programs in states where abortion is restricted/banned. Study design: In 2023, we conducted an anonymous electronic survey of residency interviewees at three large academic OB/GYN programs about the importance of various program characteristics in their selection process. We chose to represent both very restrictive and protective environments for abortion care. We stratified respondents by importance of abortion training in applying to programs (essential or very important [high preference group] vs moderately, slightly, or not important [low preference group]). Results: We analyzed 175 completed surveys (response rate 56%). Of 175 respondents, most (n = 115, 66%) stated that access to abortion training was essential (33%) or very important (33%) when applying to programs. Both high preference group (82%) and low preference group respondents (98%) applied in states where abortion is banned or restricted. Respondents applied in banned/restricted states due to geography, concern about applying to too few programs, and expectation that the program would provide out-of-state training nonetheless. Conclusion: The majority of survey respondents who reported that access to abortion training during residency is essential or very important applied to programs where abortion training is not locally available. Most of these applicants expected programs in restricted states to provide training regardless. Implications: Residency programs should be aware of the importance of abortion training to applicants, as well as abortion training expectations, and work to develop opportunities and strengthen training networks in abortion care to meet candidates’ needs and ensure adequate learning opportunities exist for all.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110479
JournalContraception
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Abortion
  • Medical education
  • Program ranking
  • Residency training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology

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